Roamy here. While there’s a lot of work to be done on the International Space Station, the astronauts do have time for some R&R. Spending up to six months away from Earth does take a psychological toll, and it’s nice to have something of home. For some astronauts, that’s music (though I’m told there’s a decent collection of books on the space station). Catherine Coleman had an interview yesterday where she played her flute for the audience.
Other instruments that have been played in space include keyboard, saxophone, a didgeridoo (that could get old in a hurry), and especially guitar. The Russians had what looked like a homemade guitar on the Mir space station.
Carl Walz had to use foot restraints while playing the keyboard because when he hit the keys, he was pushing the keyboard away. In 1965, during the Gemini 6 flight, Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford played “Jingle Bells” with bells and a harmonica.
Here’s a good Air & Space Magazine article on Max-Q, the all-astronaut band. “In space, no one can hear you sing.”