Volume: 04, Issue: 06 11/16/2005 
Sir Paul McCartney pays tribute to the crew of STS-114 during a concert in his current tour. Image credit: NASA.
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Sir Paul McCartney. AP Photo.
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Other Articles in This Issue:
Venus Express Blasts Off for Earth’s Neighbor
Spitzer Harvests Dozens of New Stars
Mountains of Creation Captured by Spitzer
Space Education In and Out of the Classroom
 

Paul McCartney Performs for ISS Crew

The crew of the International Space Station was surprised with a special treat on Nov. 13, 2005 at 12:55 a.m. EST. Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney greeted Expedition 12 commander Bill McArthur and flight engineer Valery Tokarev early Sunday morning with a wakeup call during a live concert broadcast. McCartney played two songs, "Good Day Sunshine" and "English Tea."

"I can’t believe that we’re actually transmitting to space!" McCartney said to the crew. "This is sensational. I love it.”

This was the first time a live concert was linked to a U.S. spacecraft. McArthur and Tokarev are the 12th crew of the station, which has had a continuous human presence for more than five years.

“That was simply magnificent,” Commander Bill McArthur said following the broadcast. “We consider you an explorer just as we are.”

This is not, however, the first time one of these songs was used to wake a crew in space. On Aug. 9, the Beatles’ classic “Good Day Sunshine” was played as a wakeup call for Discovery’s crew because of a favorable weather forecast for landing that morning.

"I was extremely proud to find out that one of my songs was played for the crew of Discovery this summer," McCartney said.

"I think this audience just wants to give you thanks for everything you’re doing and for joining us here tonight," he told the ISS crew during the recent concert. "We wish you all the best for the rest of your mission. We can’t wait to meet you when you get back down to Earth."

McArthur and Tokarev are more than one month into a six-month mission aboard the ISS. They have performed one of at least two planned spacewalks and will take a brief ride outside the ISS next week to move their Soyuz spacecraft from one berth to another.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html.

    
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