Performer Lindsey Stirling made an (almost)-out-of-this-world performance within view of the launch pad that could send people to the moon in 2024.
The American violinist is famous not only for her music, but also for her choreography, which accompanies the performance. She plays, dances, kicks and gracefully climbs staircases at the Kennedy Space Center‘s Launch Control Center in Florida in a new NASA video.
Shots from the video show Stirling moving in the shadow of the Vehicle Assembly Building, where NASA once built Saturn V rockets for the Apollo moon landings and where moon rockets will be assembled once again in the near future for the agency’s Artemis program. She also appears in the parking lot and the view from the center’s rooftop. Stirling’s performance was about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away from Launch Pad 39B, which the agency is currently renovating to prepare for future moon missions.
Her performed song, titled “Artemis,” shares a name with NASA’s forthcoming moon program. The agency is preparing to send its next batch of astronauts to the surface of the moon for the first time since the Apollo moon landings of the 1960s and 1970s. What is different this time around, though, is that NASA plans to launch the first women to the moon.
NASA therefore interspersed facts about women in space in the video, along with artist renditions of what the next launches to the moon will look like. NASA pointed out, for example, that 16 women in NASA’s current astronaut corps are eligible for Artemis missions.
The agency reminded viewers that NASA astronaut Christina Koch recently wrapped up a record-setting stint in space for women of almost one year; Koch was also a participant in the first three all-female spacewalks, along with crewmate Jessica Meir.
The Artemis launches will use the Space Launch System, the largest rocket NASA has used for humans since Apollo’s Saturn V, along with the Orion spacecraft. NASA also plans to build new spacesuits and to recruit private companies to send deliveries and robot helpers to accompany the astronaut crews, under the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.
NASA’s first Artemis launch, Artemis 1, will send an uncrewed spacecraft around the moon and then back to Earth. That launch is expected in 2021.