Sax in space: French astronaut delighted with birthday gift

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.— This is one cosmically cool sax — and saxophone player.

France's musical astronaut Thomas Pesquet is enjoying a special birthday present delivered to him up at the International Space Station. The saxophone arrived in a SpaceX cargo ship on Feb. 23, and his crewmates kept it hidden until his 39th birthday on Feb. 27.

He revealed the birthday surprise this week via Twitter.

"Totally pumped to hear @Thom_astro rock his sax on orbit! Happy belated birthday buddy!" future space station crewmate Jack Fischer tweeted Monday. The NASA astronaut is scheduled to blast off next month from Kazakhstan.

"You might reconsider when you hear the cacophony. Now ace those final exams and get up here!" Pesquet replied Tuesday.

Pesquet has been in orbit since November and has three months remaining in his mission. He's a former pilot for Air France.

This isn't the first time a sax has flown in space. Shuttle astronaut Ronald McNair took one up in 1984, two years before he died aboard the Challenger.

Other out-of-this-world musical instruments: piano keyboard, flute, guitar, bagpipes and an Australian didgeridoo.

4-year-old takes flight amid high winds

LYNDHURST, Ohio — High winds that blew through the Cleveland area knocked a little girl off her feet, literally.


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Brittany Gardner posted a video on Facebook of her 4-year-old daughter, Madison, opening the storm door to a home on Wednesday only to be blown off the steps. She is seen desperately clinging to the door handle while her mom runs to her rescue.

Gardner tells WJW-TV that Madison held on to the door handle until she came to take her down. She says her little girl "is totally OK."

The mom had some fun with it, setting her Facebook video to the tune of Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me." It had been viewed more than 300,000 times as of early Friday.

Associated Press