Expedition 39 commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, currently aboard the International Space Station, made space-to-Earth musical connections with students in Texas this week to share and explore the relationship between the arts and space exploration.
Students from Pearl Hall Elementary in Pasadena, Texas, performed songs with NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, Houston Symphony violinist Sergei Galperin, and violinist Kenji Williams at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. From the space station, Wakata performed a piece of the ancient Gagaku music with a Japanese reed instrument called a sho.
The live “Music in Space” program was broadcast on NASA Television and webcasted on the DLiNfo Channel at 12:30 p.m. EDT Friday, May 2.
This is the second “Music in Space” event. The first featured astronaut Chris Hadfield formerly of the Canadian Space Agency in March 2013. This event is a part of the Building Cultural Bridges program, which links Pearl Hall Elementary with Johnson Space Center and several arts organizations, providing opportunities for students to discover that they are an integral part of society at the local, state, national and international levels.
Linking students directly to space station astronauts provides them with an innovative experience of space exploration, scientific studies, and the possibilities for future human space exploration.
These in-flight education events are part of a series with educational organizations in the United States to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching and learning. It is a component of NASA's Digital Learning Network education program, which is designed to deliver interactive instruction in support of long-term retention of knowledge as only NASA can.
For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit: www.nasa.gov/nasatv