When he's not busy with his full-time gig, NASA Astronaut Don Pettit takes the time to run some of his own personal science experiments. His latest? A zero-gravity didgeridoo performance — for science.
Kyle Evans, a 24-year-old artist, bought his first didgeridoo in a small shop in Cairns, Australia, three years ago. The owner helped him pick out one of his handmade Aboriginal instruments, and after Evans taught himself to play, he decided to build an enhanced version: an electronically modified, Bluetooth-enhanced PVC pipe that cranks out didgeridoo-like sound with added digital flourishes.
Traditional didgeridoos are simple wind instruments made from hollowed-out trees. While learning to play the one from Cairns, Evans was also getting into computer-synthesized music, and he noticed similarities between the sounds. His first attempt to combine the two, involving a Big Gulp mug and a USB link to his laptop, proved too cumbersome, so he designed a Bluetooth version instead.