Found this in Scotsman News
Finest piper in the galaxy
Published Date: 22 March 2009
IT'S the pipes, Jim, but not as we know it. The bagpipes could boldly go where no musical instrument has gone before – outer space, the final frontier, writes Tom Peterkin.
The prospect of Scotland's national instrument being played to an extra terrestrial audience could come to fruition now that one of the world's leading pipers is on the verge of becoming an astronaut in Canada's space programme.
Sixteen years after winning Scotland's most prestigious piping competition – the Gold Medal at the Northern Meeting in Inverness – Bruce Woodley is hoping to become the first person to give the pipes an intergalactic blast.
Woodley has become one of 16 finalists chosen by the Canadian Space Agency from 5,000 applicants, who were competing to represent the country in NASA space missions, including flights to the International Space Station.
"I think it would be great fun to play bagpipes in space," Woodley told the Pipes/Drums website. Woodley, an engineer from British Colombia, has already begun 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."
Woodley is thinking of modifying his pipes to ensure they can be sounded inside a space ship. He said: "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.
"I believe the Apollo spacecraft were all about 4 psi cabin pressure, or about 32,000 feet above sea level – in 100% 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
Hopes are towers in the skies Dreams are wings taking flight
The Boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best Shadowy and vague. Who shall say where one ends and the other begins