Pioneering electronic music group Kraftwerk blazed another trail during their concert Friday when an in-orbit astronaut joined the band live via video chat to perform “Spacelab.”
The unique collaboration occurred during Kraftwerk’s concert in Stuttgart, Germany, the Associated Press reports, with German astronaut Alexander Gerst “dropping in” from the International Space Station.
Gerst used a tablet configured with a virtual synthesizer to play Kraftwerk’s The Man-Machine cut “Spacelab,” a fitting choice, with the band’s co-founder Ralf Hütter. The duet lasted five minutes, after which Gerst signed off to return to astronaut duties – he’ll remain onboard the ISS until December 2018 – and the rest of Kraftwerk completed the improbable rendition.
This isn’t the first time an active spaceman has taken part in a live performance via video: As the Associated Press notes, Barenaked Ladies recruited Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who was 250 miles above Earth at the time, to perform live in 2013, a performance that marked the first “space-to-earth musical collaboration.”