German astronaut performs with Kraftwerk from the ISS
Performing in front of 7,500 fans at Stuttgart’s Jazz Open Festival, German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk welcomed to the stage European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst. Currently stationed aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Gerst used a tablet computer complete with a virtual synthesiser to join the band in a performance of 1978 track ‘Spacelab’.
Before playing, Gerst took the opportunity to explain a little more about the ISS’s work and what life in the space station entails: “The ISS is a Man-Machine, the most complex and valuable machine humankind has ever built,” he says, after pointing out he is one of only six people in space, some 400km above Earth’s sea level.
“Here in the European Columbus Laboratory, the successor to the Spacelab, the European Space Agency (ESA) is researching things that will improve daily life on Earth. More than 100 different nations work together peacefully here and achieve things that a single nation could never achieve. We are developing technologies onboard the ISS to grow beyond our current horizons and prepare to take further species into spaces, to the Moon and Mars.”
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