May the Piccolo Be with You! Watch an Astronaut Perform the 'Star Wars' Theme in Space

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
Related: Best Space Music Videos Ever: A Rockin' Chart Countdown

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir plays the piccolo at the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA TV)

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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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes an exclusive with Office of the Vice-President of the United States, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and (soon) a Bachelor of History from Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace