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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 November 2005, 07:29 GMT
McCartney in live space broadcast
Astronauts Bill McArthur and Valery Tokarev listen to Sir Paul McCartney play Good Day Sunshine

Sir Paul McCartney has become the first musician to broadcast live music to an audience in space.

The former Beatles member treated two astronauts at the International Space Station to a live wake-up call with the Beatles song Good Day Sunshine.

The performance was broadcast to the crew, 220 miles (354km) above Earth, from a concert in California.

Sir Paul said he decided to make the broadcast after Nasa used the song to wake the Space Shuttle Discovery crew.

Sir Paul told his official website he was "extremely proud" to hear how the track had been used to let the Shuttle crew know the weather was good enough for an Earth landing.

'Love it'

As well as Good Day Sunshine, Sir Paul played recent solo track English Tea.

Nasa astronaut Bill McArthur and his Russian counterpart Valery Tokarev, seen live from space on a Nasa link-up, drank from squeeze pouches during the performance, and elicited a rousing cheer from the audience.

"I can't believe that we're actually transmitting to space!" Sir Paul said. "This is sensational. I love it."

Mr McArthur, who did a couple of 'zero-gravity' flips, thanked Sir Paul for playing the songs.

"That was simply magnificent," Mr McArthur said. "We consider you an explorer just as we are."

It is a tradition to wake astronauts up with recorded songs, but this was the first time they listened to live music from space.

It marked the 44th day in space for the two space station crew members, who are on a six-month flight.


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