Bagpipes. IN SPACE. And the touching reason why they’re being played.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren is a flight engineer and mission specialist with Expedition 45 and has been on board the International Space Station since July. He’s also apparently a musician of the ancient and hallowed art of blowing air through bags in order to produce a haunting sound. Regular bagpiping is hard, especially in high altitudes—now imagine what it’s like play on the ISS.
Here Lindren can be seen serenading space with “Amazing Grace,” in tribute to research scientist Victor Hurst, who had been involved with his training. Hurst passed away in October at the age of 48.
As reported by the BBC, the bagpipes were were specially made for Lindgren by Scottish company McCallum Bagpipes, and are composed of plastic so that they are easier to clean and weigh less than a regular set.
Lindgren’s bagpiping prowess marks the first appearance of the instrument in space. Just watch those tassels float in zero gravity and try to tell us this isn’t one of the best things you’ll see today.