spaceSpace and Physics

Italian Astronaut Becomes First DJ To Play A Set in Space


Ben Taub

Freelance Writer

clockAug 15 2019, 12:56 UTC

The ISS became a DJ booth for a night. Image: Honored_member/Shutterstock

Chris Hadfield thought he was cool when he serenaded the Earth-bound humans with his rendition of Space Oddity from the International Space Station (ISS), but Italian Astronaut Luca Parmitano has just raised the bar by performing the first-ever DJ set from space.

Before arriving on the ISS three weeks ago, the 42-year-old took lessons from German DJ Le Shuuk, later taking to the decks from orbit. His live set was beamed down to a party boat off the coast of Ibiza hosted by World Club Dome, where around 3,000 people raved the night away to Parmitano’s space tracks.


Obviously, it would have made more sense for the set to have been transmitted to Ibiza’s famous Space club, but it seems that hosting the first-ever non-terrestrial DJ wasn’t exciting enough for the prestigious venue.

Calling himself DJ AstroLuca, Parmitano missed a trick by failing to include space-themed tracks like ‘Outta Space’ by the Prodigy or ‘Intergalactic’ by the Beastie Boys in his set, instead opting for some trance tunes. Instead, he used the opportunity to share a message about being able to “connect across cultures” using the power of music and science.

"Why are we performing a DJ set in orbit?" Parmitano asks in the video below, as he's beamed onto a huge screen on the party boat. "Let me tell you a story about that..."


"About ten years ago I was being selected, interviewed as an astronaut," he begins. "I got one question from a psychologist that asked me: If you could change one thing in the world, what would you choose? And I said, I would love for the world to have one common language, which everybody could talk because I believe communication is one way to solve most problems.

I thought at the time such language didn't exist... but then, later on, I realized maybe I was wrong because there are two languages that are really common around the world that manage to join people. The first one of these languages is math; the language of science. Math is the same all over the world and scientists and mathematicians all over the world can use the same math to talk the same language. They're all agreeing and disagreeing and communicating using one common language, the language of science.

And the second language that everybody knows and everybody understands is music. Music is an amazing equalizer, everybody enjoys music, everybody wanst to listen to music, and even if the music is different, everybody understands what the music is communicating." 


As his set took to a close, DJ AstroLuca addressed the revelers one last time.

"This was an opportunity for us all to share a common language, a common dream," he said. "Space is a very common dream that joins people all over the world and this opportunity to unite science and music, for people to enjoy them in this way, was just too good to pass. This is a great opportunity for people to look around and enjoy the world the same way that we do from up here." 

Parmitano will now put his DJ career on hold and spend the next six months supporting around 250 experiments aboard the ISS.

spaceSpace and Physics
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  • Luca Parmitano,

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