Paul McCartney will become the first rock musician to play live for astronauts in space on Sunday when he provides the wake-up call for the International Space Station.
Sir Paul will play Beatles classic Good Day Sunshine and English Tea to the two man crew circling 220 miles above the Earth.
His performance for NASA Astronaut Bill McArthur and Russian Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev will come during his concert at Anaheim, California, part of his 11-week US tour.
Spacemen have a long tradition of beginning each day with a musical alarm call from Earth.
Last August, the record version of Good Day Sunshine” played as a wake-up call for the crew of the shuttle Discovery because of a favourable weather forecast for landing that morning.
“I was extremely proud to find out that one of my songs was played for
the crew of Discovery this summer,” McCartney said last night. “In our concert
we hope to repay the favour.”
Discovery commander Eileen Collins said: “Since people were first awakened on the moon by mission control, wake-up songs have been a space tradition to brighten the crew’s day and get them off to a great start.
“We’re honoured that Paul McCartney will be a part of this historic delivery of music for Bill and Valery. It will surely give them a big boost as they continue through their research mission.”
McArthur and Tokarev are the 12th crew of the station, which has had a
continuous human presence for more than five years.
In 1988, Soviet cosmonauts took an advance copy of Pink Floyd’s live album The Delicate Sound Of Thunder into orbit with them. The cassette was a gift from the band who were present at the launch of their Soyuz spaceship and it became the first rock music played in space.
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