Commander Chris Hadfield recorded a pretty awesome version of “Space Oddity” while on the International Space Station. Check it out:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo&feature=youtube_gdata_player]
There is a guitar in space! That got me to thinking. Your average acoustic guitar weighs about 7 lbs (3 kg). The cost per kilogram to get an object to orbit is around $10,000. That means that the guitar cost $30,000 to get to the ISS!
This isn’t meant as a knock on wasteful government spending. It’s more putting into perspective how expensive space travel is. A guitar is certainly worth the investment for the astronauts of the ISS. It provides needed entertainment during their downtime hours. It’s not like these guys can go out for a walk in their free time. Not to mention that a guitar in space has brought us this stunning music video! Well played, NASA. Well played.
It also got me to thinking about how much modern technology has likely saved us. You have to assume that a fairly common personal item brought by the astronauts is a book. Books are made of paper and paper is pretty heavy. Now, thought, they can just keep a Kindle or two up there to share and have hundreds of books at the cost of only $2,500 (250 g) per Kindle. And they can just beam new books to the ISS for free!
That’s the beautiful thing about space travel. Even the most mundane thing as a guitar becomes infinitely fascinating.