ANAHEIM, Calif. – It was "Good Day Sunshine" for the international space station crew Sunday morning.
NASA astronaut Bill McArthur and Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev were treated to a live wake-up call of the Beatles classic in a first-ever concert linkup to the space station.
On Earth, former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney performed the hit and another song, "English Tea," on Saturday night before a cheering crowd as part of his 11-week "US" tour.
The performance was beamed from the West Coast to the space station crew 220 miles above Earth and broadcast on NASA television, which showed live feeds from space.
McArthur and Tokarev bobbed up and down and sipped from squeeze pouches through the show, getting a rousing cheer from the audience.
"I can't believe that we're actually transmitting to space!" McCartney said. "This is sensational. I love it."
McArthur, who did a couple flips, noted McCartney's creative achievements and thanked him for playing the songs.
"That was simply magnificent," McArthur said. "We consider you an explorer just as we are."
It is a tradition to wake astronauts up with recorded songs, but this marked the first time astronauts listened to live music from space.
The rock icon came up with the idea after learning that NASA's Mission Control used "Good Day Sunshine" to wake up the Space Shuttle Discovery astronauts in August with word that conditions were favorable to return to Earth.
The wake-up call marked the space station crew's 44th day of a planned six month mission in space.