Viral Radar: Space-Earth Flute Duet Pays Tribute To Yuri Gagarin

By Megan O'Neill Comment

If you haven’t already noticed the space-themed Google doodle or YouTube logo, today is the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight.  Fifty years ago today, on April 12, 1961, Soviet pilot and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin completed the first space orbit of Earth.  To pay tribute to Yuri Gagarin, NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman and Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson have performed the first ever Space-Earth Duet.

Coleman is an amateur flutist and she introduces the video from space, 200 miles above Earth, after floating down to a microphone, after her flute.  “Tonight Ian Anderson and I would like to honor Yuri Gagarin for his brave journey fifty years ago, and we would like to celebrate the role that humans play in the exploration of our universe—past, present, and future—by sharing some music between earth and space.”

The song that Coleman and Anderson play is “Bourree,” a song which Jethro Tull and Anderson performed during their 1969 US tour, as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped foot on the moon for the first time.  According to, “Coleman is an avid fan of Anderson’s and carried one of his flutes with her for a six-month stay aboard the station, along with her own instrument.”  Coleman says, “It’s really different to play up here.  I’ve been having the nicest time up in our cupola.  I float around in there.  A lot of the times I play with my eyes closed.”

The video has gotten just over 10,000 views so far on YouTube and is sure to take off throughout the day as people around the globe celebrate the anniversary of the first man entering space.  If you are interested in finding out more about Yuri Gagarin’s first spaceflight, NASA has put together a nice little history, complete with newspaper clippings, pictures and more.

What do you think about Cady Coleman and Ian Anderson’s Space-Earth flute duet?  Let us know in the comments below!

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.