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German astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig

Alexander Gerst played a duet of Kraftwerk's 1978 song Spacelab with the band to cheers from the audience in Stuttgart.

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Kraftwerk fans are used to hearing otherworldly tunes, but the German electronic music pioneers took it to another level at a gig in Stuttgart.

Video posted by the European Space Agency on Saturday shows German astronaut Alexander Gerst “dropping in” for a live performance from the International Space Station.

Using a tablet computer with a virtual synthesiser, he played a duet of Kraftwerk’s 1978 song Spacelab with the band on Friday night to cheers from the audience.

He is not the first space musician.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded a cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity and played a duet with the Barenaked Ladies while 400 kilometres (250 miles) above the Earth in 2013.

American astronaut Ron McNair planned to play saxophone from orbit with Jean Michel Jarre in 1986 but died in the Challenger tragedy.

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