Astronaut to pen space-shanty aboard Discovery shuttle

Guitar twanging astronauts are laying claim to owning the world’s most travelled guitar, orbiting the planet 50,000 orbits so far.

Aboard the International Space Station on NASA’s space shuttle discovery a Larrivée guitar has been travelling with crew since 2001.

Now Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is planning to record a series of space-shanties to document the human race’s early forays in the expanses of space.

There have been claims of other intergalactic musicianship, with space-jazz pioneer Sun Ra famously detailing his interplanetary travels, but Hadfield will be the first to cut a record while floating in space.

With celebrities preparing to be rocketed into the stratosphere with the launch of Virgin Galactic, he might not be the only one singing amongst the stars for long though.

Hadfield says that he would love to be able to play on orbit “and have it beamed down to a school” so that kids could join in with him.

The 52-year old guitarist plays in two bands down on terra firma, and will look to record a CD on his next trip up in the heavens.

Apparently playing guitar is a tad tricky with fingers darting around frets to quickly, though at least there is no need for a guitar strap in zero gravity conditions.

We just hope for his fellow astronauts that Hadfield doesn’t have a predilection for strumming the works of earth-dweller James Blunt.  If so, we fear the instrument may be jettisoned into the silence of the space vacuum fairly quickly.