NASA's search for the perfect wake-up song


"I see trees of green..." View of Earth's sunrise from Space Shuttle Columbia, Nov. 28, 1983

For at least 45 years, NASA’s mission control has awakened voyaging astronauts each morning by playing them songs — some funny, some poignant, some live, and some hilariously inappropriate. (Who thought it would be a good idea to play David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” — which ends with a doomed astronaut’s malfunctioning spacecraft drifting through space — not once, but twice?)

Now, time is running out on NASA’s space shuttle program, and along with it, that fun tradition. But before it ends, NASA has decided to let the public get in on the act. NASA on Friday launched its “Space Rock” contest for aspiring musicians to create original songs that could be used to wake up astronauts on the final shuttle mission next February.

The only rules are that the songs must be original, and must have something to do with space. Record your song in an mp3 (no more than 1.5 MB in size), upload it by Jan. 10, and the public will then vote. The top two vote-getters will be broadcast on STS-134.

If you don’t have a musical bone in your body, you can still participate. NASA’s also allowing people to vote on the best songs used to awaken astronauts in the past, and the top two winners will be broadcast during the next-to-last shuttle flight. There’s some good choices here. The nerd in me wants to pick the Star Trek theme, but the sentimental sap has to go with Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” — simply because it would require a heart of stone for someone to hear that song while watching a sunrise from outer space and not choke up.

– H/t GovExec


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