Space Station Soundtrack: Astronaut Thomas Pesquet Shares His #Songs4Space

Thomas Pesquet
Space station astronaut Thomas Pesquet received a saxophone surprise for his birthday. It arrived on the SpaceX Dragon on Feb. 23 and was hidden by Pesquet's crewmates until his birthday on Feb. 27. (Image credit: ESA/NASA/Flickr)

There aren't many sounds to hear in space, but there has certainly been no shortage of music at the International Space Station (ISS) ever since French astronaut Thomas Pesquet arrived.

A first-time space traveler, Pesquet is getting ready to wrap up his six-month stay aboard the space station. Whenever he wasn't working on science experiments or spacewalks, Pesquet spent much of his spare time listening to music, playing his saxophone, and even recording a music video.

Pesquet also created a soundtrack for his life in orbit by regularly tweeting songs with the hashtag #songs4space. Whether he's getting ready for a spacewalk, looking at the moon or eating home-grown lettuce, Pesquet has a song for everything. [Gallery: French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet's Amazing Photos from Space]

"The terminator is not only a movie: it’s the line between night and day. We cross it up to 16 times in 24 hours. So it keeps coming back," astronaut Thomas Pesquet wrote on social media when he shared this photo from the International Space Station. (Image credit: Thomas Pesquet/ESA/NASA/Flickr)

One of the first songs Pesquet shared in space was inspired by a photo he took of Earth through the window of the ISS. Behind one of the station's solar panels is the line between day and night, which is known as the terminator.

The terminator passes over people on Earth twice a day during the sunrise and sunset. But the ISS crosses the terminator 16 times a day, orbiting at a speed of about 17,500 mph (28,000 kph). In a tweet, Pesquet said that the constant nightfall often reminds him of a song called "Nightcall" by Kavinsky, a French electronic house music artist.

Pesquet, who turned 39 years old on Feb. 27, is the youngest person of the Expedition 50/51 crew as well as the European Space Agency's astronaut corps. In his second month of life at the ISS, Pesquet claimed that this made him more playful and competitive than his crewmates. Accordingly, he attached the song "Disparate Youth" by Santigold.

There's nothing like home-grown veggies, especially at the International Space Station. "TGIF! Like every Friday evening, we all gather in the Russian segment and share our best food items," astronaut Thomas Pesquet wrote on his Flickr page. "This time, we were very fortunate to eat fresh onboard-grown lettuce, with lobster in wasabi mayonnaise (courtesy of our three-star chef NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson)." (Image credit: Thomas Pesquet/ESA/NASA/Flickr)

When you're orbiting the Earth about 248 miles (400 kilometers) above the ground, growing your own food isn't easy. So when it's time harvest lettuce from the space station's veggie farm, the astronauts get a bit more excited about mealtime – or at least Pesquet does.

After harvesting some red romaine lettuce in December, Pesquet and his crewmates had a space food feast, topping their fresh leaves with lobster and wasabi mayonnaise. Then he tweeted, "When in space, fresh lettuce feels like a Banquet" with the song "Banquet" by Bloc Party, the English indie-rock band.

A waxing, gibbous moon peeks out from behind Canadarm2, one of the robotic arms outside the International Space Station, in this photo taken by astronaut Thomas Pesquet. "The moon was playing hide and seek with us today… but I spotted it!" Pesquet tweeted when he shared the photo. (Image credit: Thomas Pesquet/ESA/NASA/Flickr)

While watching a spacewalk in-person for the first time, Pesquet was so impressed with the work of NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough that he basically called them ninjas. As the two spacewalkers performed a power upgrade outside the ISS, Pesquet tweeted the song "Enter the Ninja" by Die Antwoord.

Before Pesquet did his own spacewalk on March 24, he scheduled a #songs4space tweet reminding himself to not get distracted by all the scenery in space; attaching the song "Pay No Mind" by Madeon and Passion Pit. (Of course, spacewalking astronauts don't have access to Twitter while they're outside in their EVA suits. But it's the thought that counts, right?)

Pesquet's first space adventure is coming to an end, but hopefully he won't stop tweeting his #songs4space anytime soon.

You can check out the rest of Pesquet's #songs4space on Twitter.

Email Hanneke Weitering at or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.