Commander Chris Cassidy and his crewmates on NASA's Expedition 63 spent downtime on the International Space Station by filming a lip syncing music video for the Travis Tritt tune "It's a Great Day to Be Alive."
As reported by TMZ, the NASA astronauts celebrated rice cooking in the microwave, homemade soup and other simple pleasures from 250 miles above the Earth.
"From 250 miles above the Earth, Expedition 63 is aware of the hard times that exist in the neighborhoods of the world rotating below," Cassidy wrote in a statement about the crew's musical choice. "Even amid the uncertainty & difficulties of battling through these challenging times, we encourage everyone to be the best 'crewmates' & take care of each other. Cherish the people you love."
The hit song, which also suits a time when COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic beards are en vogue, is from Tritt's 2000 album Down the Road I Go. It had been previously recorded by The Sky Kings, an American country-rock supergroup consisting of Bill Lloyd (Foster & Lloyd), Rusty Young (Poco), and John Cowan (New Grass Revival).
"This is the closest I will ever get to actually being in space," Tritt wrote on social media in response to the video. "I'm very honored to have my music being played on the International Space Station! Thanks so much!"
It's not the first country music tribute from high above planet Earth. Four months after the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, astronaut Pete Conrad served as commander of Apollo 12's return to the lunar service. Per Diane Diekman's Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story, Conrad took a mixtape of his favorite country songs to space. From this tape, Bob Wills' "San Antonio Rose" became the first country standard broadcast in space. When it came time for Apollo 12's splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, mission control could initially only hear part of Young's song "Wine Me Up."