The Force is definitely strong with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, who recently played the "Star Wars" theme aboard the International Space Station.
Meir used the same piccolo that she once played as a student at Caribou High School in Maine, she explained to the audience on NASA TV while floating near the famous plant-growth experiment on the orbiting complex.
"@Astro_Jessica has been dreaming of going to space since she was 5 years old," NASA explained on Twitter, where the video was posted Oct. 29. "Today, she spoke to students from her old hometown — Caribou, Maine, and told them that even after being on the @Space_Station for a month, it's still difficult to believe her dream has come true!"
Video: Astronaut Plays 'Star Wars' Theme Song on Piccolo in Space
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Astronauts are often fans of many science fiction franchises, ranging from "Star Trek" (in which several real-life astronauts have appeared) to "Firefly" (astronaut Steve Swanson is particularly fond of that TV series). "Star Wars" has undergone a resurgence in popularity, with the release of several new feature films in recent years. The newest, "The Rise of Skywalker," will be released in December.
Many astronauts are accomplished musicians as well as scientists or military personnel, with examples including Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield (guitar) and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman (flute).
NASA says that a variety of musical instruments have flown into space, including a keyboard, a flute, several guitars, a saxophone and even a didgeridoo, the Australian aboriginal wind instrument.
Instruments are not only fun to play in space, but they may also boost astronauts' psychological health. NASA looks for ways to keep its spacefarers entertained in orbit, including giving them free time every day to read, talk with family members, play instruments or surf the (slow) internet available on the space station.
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Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.(opens in new tab)