NASA Commander Mark Kelly Appears at U2360° in Seattle
U2 delivered a surprise to the crowds at Quest Field, Seattle last night with a video message from Commander Mark E. Kelly. Bono dedicated 'Beautiful Day' to Gabby Giffords, before asking, “Imagine a man looking down on us from 200 miles up. Looking down at our beautiful crowded planet… What would he say to us…? What is on your mind Commander Kelly?”
Commander Kelly, on a 16-day mission with the Endeavour crew, recorded the message aboard the International Space Station, “Hello Seattle… from the International Space Station.” Before finishing on a line from David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' : “I’m looking forward to coming home. Tell my wife I love her very much… she knows.”
U2 approached NASA in 2009 with an idea to include a dialogue between the band and the crew of the International Space Station during U2's world tour. In 2009 and 2010, U2 incorporated footage from the space station’s Expedition 20 crew in its concerts. For the second half of the world tour, U2 asked Mark Kelly, Commander of space shuttle mission STS-134 to record some words during his flight to the station.
"Working with U2 is atypical for NASA," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for Space Operations. "By combining their world tour with the space station's out-of-this-world mission, more people -- and different people than our normal target audiences -- learned about the International Space Station and the important work we are doing in orbit."
Speaking onstage in Houston last year, Bono said, "These are the very best people in the world -- dedicated to figuring how our little planet exists in this cosmos we call home."
U2360° has worked with NASA and the International Space Station throughout this tour - having previously linked up with Belgian astronaut Commander Frank De Winne, Michael Barratt of NASA, Bob Thirsk of the Canadian Space Agency, Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Gennady Padalka and Roman Romanenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency as well as Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte during his visit to the International Space Station.