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Space Jam
April 3, 2011 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Flute jam aboard the International Space Station [SLYT]

Skip to the 5 minute mark for the music itself, but I found the leadup as fascinating as the actual jam session.
posted by inedible (45 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've had it with these Monkey-Flipping flutes on this Monday-to-Friday ISS!
posted by persona at 3:33 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow! That is awesome!
posted by chillmost at 3:34 PM on April 3, 2011


I want her job. Can I get a life rewind?
posted by maudlin at 3:36 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was quite possibly the nerdiest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Good on her!
posted by wreckingball at 3:42 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was good, link duly passed to my 16yo flute playing niece.
posted by Long Way To Go at 3:42 PM on April 3, 2011


Now that's a nerdgasm.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:44 PM on April 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fuck nerdy, that rocked!
posted by P.o.B. at 3:46 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't get a kick out of this, you need to have your Enthusameter checked.

Cady Coleman has become one of my favorite astronauts.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:49 PM on April 3, 2011


This is the best thing I've seen in ages. Thanks. It's absolutely wonderful.
posted by dng at 3:50 PM on April 3, 2011


St. Patrick's Day greeting from space. Now THAT's an entrance -- and exit!
posted by maudlin at 3:54 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Human kind has made the progress to send a person to space, have her live comfortably there, and then play with a band hundreds of miles back on Earth, and this video is then shared across a gigantic network of computers that around 30% of the people living on Earth can access freely.

What an amazing video. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't get a little misty eyed when she opened the windows.
posted by codacorolla at 3:56 PM on April 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I liked the fly-through of the Space Station - are there other Space Station video house tours like that?
posted by stbalbach at 4:01 PM on April 3, 2011


Her hair! I love it!
posted by ErWenn at 4:07 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


stbalbach: Yes, I've seen a few. A lot of them are quite boring, like this one, detailing all the little storage compartments and doodads. Others are neat glimpses into how the crew live, like this one. There's really quite a lot of them, but unfortunately a lot are really low quality or detailing really dry topics.
posted by inedible at 4:10 PM on April 3, 2011


I'm totally confused -- I distinctly remember a Trivial Pursuit question stating that a flute wouldn't work in space. But -- apparently not.

Noted only because I was playing flute at the time, which I totally fucking hated. Parents, let your kid choose their instrument, if you want them to, you know, like it. "Why are you not practicing?" "Coz this sucks!"

Anyway, good on her!

posted by Capt. Renault at 4:18 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am damn impressed.

This is not intended to put a damped on things, but a NASA guy once told me it costs $20,000 to put a pound in space. This was in 2000. I'm guessing those flutes have to weigh a few pounds. Maybe around a $100,000 once you count the weight of the tshirts she wraps them in.

Money well spent if you ask me.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:20 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I distinctly remember a Trivial Pursuit question stating that a flute wouldn't work in space.

A flute wouldn't work in the vacuum of space. That video was gross.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:21 PM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was smiling throughout the whole video. Just listening to Cady Coleman talk was really inspiring. I could almost convince myself that the vision of a transcendent future was now, because here was this person that radiated a sense of being from Planet Earth, not from country X or country Y.

...it's sad though, that only a few minutes before seeing this post I was listening to the music of another flautist playing a different, far more solemn tune. I'm torn between the belief that Space has the potential to unite us as a human race, and the reality of a world that needs immediate solutions to its economic, social, and political disasters.
posted by lemuring at 4:48 PM on April 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


A 150 year old flute in space? I wonder what the oldest man-made object to be launched into space is.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:56 PM on April 3, 2011


Her zero-g hair justifies all the costs of the space program.
posted by Rinku at 4:59 PM on April 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


That was awesome. I love how the incidental shots of the ring on her finger, the song selection, and (unless I'm imagining things) the way she looks into the camera as she plays combine to tell a whole additional story that's never overtly mentioned.
posted by contraption at 4:59 PM on April 3, 2011


a NASA guy once told me it costs $20,000 to put a pound in space.

But is that $20k/pound marginal cost? Or amortized cost of a typical launch payload? And presumably everybody who goes up gets a certain allotment for personal items. Some people take flutes, others might take Firefly DVDs.
posted by kmz at 5:37 PM on April 3, 2011


When she said "I'm going to open a window." For a second I thought -- MY GOD ARE YOU MAD, THAT"S OUTER SPACE!

I may have been playing too much Dead Space recently.
posted by empath at 6:27 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amazing. Simply amazing. I've shared this with my two best friends, both of whom are music teachers in the Chicago Public Schools.

I wish I could e-mail her and let her know how much I appreciate this. Unfortunately, NASA doesn't publish astronaut e-mail addresses. Of course, you can Tweet them (Cady Coleman is @Astro_Cady), but they rarely if ever reply back. Understandably so, given their busy schedule.
posted by zooropa at 6:29 PM on April 3, 2011


True story: I was actually assigned to go up with the next station crew, but NASA balked at my demand to bring my accordions.
posted by bicyclefish at 6:42 PM on April 3, 2011


What an amazing video. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't get a little misty eyed when she opened the windows.

Hell yes to that. This is a wonderful slice of humanity on display right here.
posted by odinsdream at 6:49 PM on April 3, 2011


Understandably so, given their busy schedule.

That was a surprising thing about the video. Free time? They have free time?
posted by odinsdream at 6:53 PM on April 3, 2011


Fantastic. But she better keep her day job.
posted by Jode at 7:42 PM on April 3, 2011


When she said "I'm going to open a window." For a second I thought -- MY GOD ARE YOU MAD, THAT"S OUTER SPACE!

Hah! I thought the same thing.

Of course, you can Tweet them (Cady Coleman is @Astro_Cady), but they rarely if ever reply back.

Free time? They have free time?

I exchanged tweets with @Astro_Clay the other day. But of course, he's on the ground. Even up there, though, they have days off. The ones assigned to the station for several months, for sure, but shuttle crews on a couple weeks' missions also have rest days.

I love how the incidental shots of the ring on her finger, the song selection, and ... the way she looks into the camera as she plays combine to tell a whole additional story that's never overtly mentioned.

And we'll assume the story relates to her husband.

Which reminds me - I saw a brief news item re: Lisa "Diapers" Nowak the other day. http://tinyurl.com/3mtl7vh

And I couldn't recall if she'd ever flown to ISS before her ignominious career ender. I wiki'd and learned she did in July '06 - one of Mark Kelly's flights. (And she'd originally been scheduled to fly with Scott Kelly.) Slightly weird the two biggest non-space astronaut stories of recent years had that slight connection.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:48 PM on April 3, 2011


True story: I was actually assigned to go up with the next station crew, but NASA balked at my demand to bring my accordions.

Even truer story: I was scheduled to go up there, but NASA wouldn't let me bring my entire pipe organ. So I said "Take this job and shove it," and became a wandering pipe minstrel.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:12 PM on April 3, 2011


We have the same small-town tailor, that astronaut and I. I've never met her. I'm glad she showed me the coolest place in the space station.
posted by Camofrog at 8:14 PM on April 3, 2011


Well, this surpasses my previous favorite musical performance in space.
posted by heathkit at 8:15 PM on April 3, 2011


Watching that video, I thought, "Well no wonder almost every kid wants to be an astronaut at some point... look at that view! And... whoa, that place is bigger than I imagined..." then I stared for a while, awestruck. Goodness. I think I have a new space hero.

I just spent about an hour or so on whatever the video equivalent of a wiki walk is because of this thread. Thanks, MeFi.
posted by neewom at 11:04 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


With video and audio, Cady performs on NPR from the ISS, back in February 2011.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:25 AM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


A 150 year old flute in space? I wonder what the oldest man-made object to be launched into space is.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:56 PM on April 3 [+] [!]


I sent this to @kenjennings and this is what he found.
posted by bondcliff at 5:41 AM on April 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't get why she isn't wearing a hairnet at the very least. Aren't they going to get long hairs into *everything*?
posted by DU at 6:42 AM on April 4, 2011


Love love love the way she makes being in space seem so goddamn *normal*. Thanks, inedible, this is great. I've sent it to a bunch of folks already.
posted by mediareport at 7:10 AM on April 4, 2011


Quick trivia question for you - what instrument *can* be played "as-is" in the vacuum of space (i.e. without a contact microphone or similar device being added to it)?

Synthesizers of course - but there's one more class of instrument you can play in space that might surprise you...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:00 AM on April 4, 2011


lupus_yonderboy: All I can think of is a Jew's Harp, which you could hear through bone conduction, though I doubt you could play more than one note with it.
posted by inedible at 11:01 AM on April 4, 2011


jaw's harp is an interesting choice, but you couldn't really have it work properly in vacuum unless your head were in a vacuum...

No, it's the electric guitar. The strings would vibrate and the pick-up would emit a signal, and this does not require an atmosphere to work, though the pitch of each string would be a lot higher (not sure how to calculate this...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2011


I was thinking of that, but in a sense an electric guitar is just a guitar with a "mic"* on it. Plus, in order to hear it you need an amplifier, the speaker of which would still be in in vacuum in order for it to work within the confines of your rules.

An electric guitar is still a guitar. I mean, you can put a pickup on a ukulele or violin too. Doesn't make them new instruments.

*I'm aware that a magnetic pickup is not the same thing as a microphone.
posted by bondcliff at 1:06 PM on April 4, 2011


Why would the pitch change? You'd get more sustain due to the lack of drag, but the frequency of the vibrating string is a function of its length, its mass and the tension it's under, none of which are affected by atmospheric pressure or gravity.
posted by contraption at 5:30 PM on April 4, 2011


Why would the pitch change?

The pitch would only change if played while on a treadmill.
posted by odinsdream at 6:46 AM on April 5, 2011


The great fly-through of the ISS, the indescribable view from the cupola, the delightful tune, the flute from Jethro Tull ... and it's fascinating weightless floating... *NERDGASM*
posted by 00dimitri00 at 1:29 AM on April 6, 2011


Space flutes salute Yuri Gagarin
posted by bleary at 6:32 AM on April 12, 2011


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