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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Massachusetts Astronaut Cady Coleman Plays Music Out of This World

Astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman, a member of the Expedition 26 crew currently aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles in outer space, is giving flute recitals for the whole world to hear.

 The avid amateur flutist brought "four flute-like instruments in her small allotment of personal items," according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

In addition to her own flute, Coleman also brought on board a flute belonging to Ian Anderson of the rock band Jethro Tull, and two instruments from the Irish traditional group the Chieftains: a 19th century E flat wooden flute from Matt Molloy and a penny whistle from Paddy Moloney, founder of the Chieftains.

Coleman, who lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts with her husband and son, said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), "I play the flute on the ground and it's one of the things I love to do....I think it's important to share how amazing it is up here. I relate to flute players and I just wanted them to understand what a cool place it was and how many possibilities there were to play music up here on the space station."

Coleman is hoping to have a live concert between outer space and the earth with Anderson, Molloy and Moloney before she returns home in May.

To read Cady Coleman's blog in the months leading up to Expedition 26, click here.

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