Finest musician hopes to play bagpipes in space

March 22nd, 2009 - 3:34 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 22 (ANI): Sixteen years after winning Scotland’’s most prestigious piping competition the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting in Inverness Bruce Woodley is hoping to play bagpipes in space.

Woodley, an engineer from British Colombia, has become one of 16 finalists chosen by the Canadian Space Agency from more than 5,000 applicants vying to represent Canada in future NASA space missions, including long-duration space flights on the International Space Station.

“I think it would be great fun to play bagpipes in space,” The Scotsman quoted Woodley, as telling the Pipes/Drums website.

Woodley has already started calculating if he will be capable of blowing the pipes outside the earth’’s atmosphere.

“It might be a challenge to get a set of bagpipes ‘’space certified” from the point of view of flammability,” he said.

“Also, launch costs are high to the space station, thus weight might also need to be reduced to be practical for this purpose,” he added.

Woodley is considering modifying his pipes to ensure they can be sounded inside a space ship.

“The space station and shuttle are pressurised to 14.7 psi (standard sea level pressure), but the shuttle also has the capability to operate at a reduced pressure about 10.5 psi I think for reasons related to spacewalks, he said.

“I believe the Apollo spacecraft were all about 4 psi cabin pressure, or about 32,000 feet above sea level in 100 percent oxygen environment. I”m guessing it would be very difficult to play bagpipes and have them sound like anything we hear on the ground without redesign,” he added. (ANI)

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