NASA astronauts break out guitars for ISS space jam

NASA astronauts and Russian cosmonauts get out guitars and flutes on the ISS to rock out as a band called "AstroHawaii."

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

It's not all work and no play on the International Space Station. The astronauts and cosmonauts up in orbit took a break from science to exercise their musical chops over the weekend. 

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev posted a photo of the crew with two guitars, a couple of flutes and what looks like a piece of ISS equipment that was pressed into use as a hand drum. 

NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Scott Tingle wield the acoustic axes, while Roscosmos cosmonauts Artemyev and Anton Shkaplerov play flutes. That's NASA's Ricky Arnold on drums. The sixth member of the crew, Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, is presumably behind the camera.

For you gear hounds out there, the two small-bodied guitars are from Canadian maker Larrivee.  

Shkaplerov shared the microgravity band's name: "AstroHawaii," and Feustel speculated the jam session may have been the first of its kind on the ISS.

It's not too surprising this particular crew would go all Blues Brothers and put a band together. Tingle has a rock 'n' roll past and Feustel lists guitar as one of his hobbies.

There's no word yet on exactly what songs the makeshift super group played. Here's hoping the set list included David Bowie's Space Oddity, Elton John's Rocket Man and Deep Purple's Space Truckin'.

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