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Hitting high note in zero gravity

Published time: June 29, 2011 13:39
Edited time: June 29, 2011 17:44

The crew that returned from the International Space Station last month have been holding their traditional meeting at Russia's Star City outside Moscow.

­RT met up with flight engineer Cady Coleman, who had spent six months on the orbit doing experiments. And yet, it is not solely the scientific work the NASA astronaut became famous for – it is a unique performance she gave aboard the ISS.

Cady Coleman brought quite an impressive set of flutes with her to the space. One was her own, two more belonged to members of the Irish group The Chieftains – including a 200-year-old instrument – and a flute belonging to Ian Anderson of the band Jethro Tull.

“Once you get up there, you want to share this,” Coleman told RT. “And Mr. Anderson came up with this way to play a duet together.” The duo’s performance has had great success around the world.

Coleman noted, however, that it appears to be different playing in weightlessness, when you find yourself bumping into objects as you are playing, as well as the acoustics varying greatly from one ISS chamber to another.

“The biggest inconvenience of not having gravity is that everything floats. And that can be nice: I mean I can move a thousand-pound rack of equipment by myself and push it across the space station,” she explained. “And that floating part, it’s not floating, it’s flying.”

“Somebody like me, that was never the gymnastics queen in high school, can do all of those things and more, and it’s just really wonderful to fly,” Coleman concluded.

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