[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]



Spaceflight Set the Stage for a Story by Sir Paul


* FOR IMAGES SEE:http://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/features/mccartney.html

A sea of thousands of concert-goers threw its hands high, clapped and 
cheered while many chimed in with Sir Paul McCartney. On stage, a story 
began to unfold. It was a story of human pursuit and success, and 
spaceflight was at the heart of it.

Three stadium-sized screens unveiled a machine of marvels and its 
courageous crew of seven blasting into space. McCartney belted the words 
to the Beatles' tune "Good Day Sunshine," as a tribute to the most 
recent shuttle mission.

*Image above: Backdropped by images of the STS-114 crew, Paul McCartney 
plays one of his classic songs. Credit: NASA TV

Discovery and the crew of STS-114 left Earth in July and returned in 
August, on a mission to return the vehicle to space on a journey of 

On their last day in space, Aug. 9 -- a predicted day of sunshine and 
clear skies -- crewmembers Collins, Kelly, Camarda, Lawrence, Robinson, 
Thomas and Noguchi were roused with the popular Beatles' song. The 
wake-up was followed with a flawless landing.

Upon hearing the news while in England that his music had traveled 
hundreds of miles into space, McCartney drummed up an idea, spurred by 
his wife, to share the story set in space on stage.

"We hit a chord with American audiences," McCartney said. "The reaction 
to [the on-stage tribute] has been fantastic."

McCartney and his crew took the story on the road, telling it in song 
and testimony to full concerts across the nation during his 11-week "US" 

The never-ending story of spaceflight was told again in unique fashion 
during his concert held in Anaheim, Calif.

More than 15,000 people joined McCartney in a first-ever live wakeup to 
the two-man crew on station. Flying 220 miles above the Earth, Astronaut 
Bill McArthur and Russian Cosmonaut Valery Tokarev were treated to the 
stellar wakeup song and "English Tea" of McCartney’s latest album.

Real time video and audio of the Exp. 12 crew were transmitted to screen 
onto McCartney's stage. The live linkup was met with a roar of 
celebration from the concert crowd.

* Image above: Paul McCartney performs "Good Day Sunshine" for the crew 
of Expedition 12. Credit: NASA TV

"I thought, 'wow, they really are in space,'" McCartney said. "I told 
the audience 'I think I need about 20 minutes to go have a lie down.' 
What do you do after that? We haven’t stopped talking about it since."

On McCartney’s tour stop in Houston, home of the STS-114 crew, the 
crewmembers made an entry on stage during the tribute number. When the 
story was told in Houston, McCartney said the story of accomplishment 
was felt and was an emotional moment for all involved.

The tradition of sending wakeup music into space has long boosted 
spirits of those living afar from their loved ones.

"Music is a great help because it sort of grounds you, and it gives you 
memories," McCartney said. "I can only imagine what it's like to be up 
there looking back on Earth. I can imagine for the space crew when 
you’re out there for such a long time and missing home that it would be 
very good to get a reminder that will take you back."

Though the humans that have traveled and lived for as long as six months 
at a time in space miss their home planet and their loved ones, it is 
the necessity and the desire to understand the world in which we live, 
that drives them beyond.

"There’s some deep basic instinct in humans to explore," McCartney said. 
"It's been happening since the dawn of time. There’s a deep urge in us 
to find out what's out there.
Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org