Willie Williams, lighting designer for U2's 360 Tour, wanted to incorporate the space shuttle Endeavour's Mission Commander Mark Kelly singing “A Beautiful Day” lyrics into U2 concert footage for their show in Seattle, WA on June 5. Williams knew Tait would be always ready to â€˜boldly go where no other tour supplier had been before!'
Williams called James “Winky” Fairorth at Tait Towers, in Lititz, PA. Tait Towers, who provided the staging for the ground-breaking 360 Tour, has been collaborating with U2 on projects since the mid-1980s. In terms of knowledge and speed, Williams knew Tait was a great ally.
Fairorth, upon agreeing to be a part of this one-of-a-kind opportunity, told Williams, “Only if we can talk to rocket scientists.”
And talk to rocket scientist they did. Tait Towers went back and forth with NASA employee Dylan Mathis determining the correct materials and processes to ensure the lyrics would be able to fly aboard the last flight of the space shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station.
“We are the only company in America with scenery used on every continent except Antarctica, outer space was the final frontier,” added Adam Davis, also of Tait Towers.
Tait fabricated a hand-cut set of 22 words from “A Beautiful Day” used by Commander Kelly to inspire his rendition of the U2 song, along with a touching message recorded from the space station for his wife, Representative Gabrielle Giffords (AZ), and an audience of thousands at Quest Field.
Representative Giffords used “A Beautiful Day” as a wake up song during the Endeavour mission and it added a poignant moment to U2's incredible live performance. The shuttle, carrying Commander Kelly and five other crew members, landed safely in Florida on June 1 after a 16 day mission to the International Space Station.
WATCH VIDEO OF COMMANDER KELLY & U2 BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW: