NASA BEAMS BEATLES INTO SPACE!
FIRST-EVER TRANSMISSION OF MUSIC TO FAR END OF GALAXY
Across The Universe Goes Across The Universe!
Public Invited To Join In And Create “Harmonic Convergence”
Los Angeles – January 31, 2008. The US space agency NASA undertakes an historic mission on Monday February 4th – when it will beam music into deep space for the first time ever. Though it has become commonplace to transmit music to manned spacecraft over the past 40 years as wake-up songs for astronauts – this will be the first time that a pure blast of music has been targeted to go further than an orbiting spacecraft. This transmission is targeted at Polaris (“The North Star”) which is situated 2.5 quadrillion miles away. (A quadrillion is one thousand million million! So 2,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles away!) The song will take 431 years to reach Polaris – arriving in the year 2,439 AD.
The song selected for this mission “to boldly go where no music has gone before…” is the classic Beatles peace anthem “Across The Universe”.
The historic event is to commemorate a series of coinciding anniversaries:
• 2008 is the 50th anniversary of the formation of NASA
• 2008 is also the 50th anniversary of key events in the formation of The Beatles
• The first US satellite (Explorer 1) was launched into space exactly 50 years ago
• February 4th is the exact 40th anniversary of the Beatles recording the song “Across The Universe”
To commemorate all these anniversaries, February 4th has been declared “Across The Universe Day”. As part of the celebrations, the public throughout the world is invited to join with NASA and create a “universal harmonic convergence” by simultaneously playing the song “Across The Universe” at the exact same time that it is being beamed Across The Universe.
NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna will beam “Across The Universe” into outer space next Monday (4th February). The transmission into space begins at 7:00pm Eastern Standard Time. (4:00pm Pacific Standard Time).
All the details of how the public can join in on this historic event are contained on the event’s official website – which also has a “time converter” informing people across the globe what time the event takes place in their time zone.
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has expressed great pleasure at the news that the Beatles song is being beamed into space – and sent the following message to NASA:
"Amazing! Well done NASA! Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul"
Yoko Ono – widow of the late John Lennon – is delighted that John Lennon’s song of universal love and peace is being sent to the stars and has stated:
"I see that this is the beginning of the new age in which we will communicate with billions of planets across the universe."
BACKGROUND AND ADDITIONAL DETAILS
Though this will be the first time that music has ever been beamed into Deep Space - NASA has a long history of transmitting music – including Beatles songs – to spacecraft as wake-up music for their astronauts. The first song was transmitted in 1965 - “Hello Dolly” played to the crew of Gemini 6. Among the Beatles songs that have been astronaut favorites - “Here Comes The Sun”, “Ticket To Ride”, “A Hard Day’s Night”
This astronaut affection for Beatles music eventually led to Sir Paul McCartney being the first person to ever perform live music that was relayed into space. He gave a concert that was beamed to the International Space Station in November 2005 – for which he performed his 1966 Beatles song “Good Day Sunshine”.
NASA is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout this year. And there are actually some notable parallels between NASA and the Beatles:
NASA was a fledgling outfit in 1958. The first US satellite was launched exactly 50 years ago this week - and by year’s end the US Congress had formed NASA to continue the quest for space exploration. That first satellite (“Explorer 1”) was the first step on the journey that led NASA to later triumphs in the 1960s and beyond.
The group that became the Beatles was also a fledgling outfit in 1958. It was exactly 50 years ago, in February 1958, that George Harrison joined John Lennon and Paul McCartney in their primitive rock ‘n’ roll band The Quarrymen (changing their name to become the Beatles in 1960.) And later in 1958, the three of them made their very first recordings. The first step on the journey that led the Beatles to later triumphs in the 1960s and beyond as solo artists.
NASA and the Beatles both raised their profiles into the stratosphere in the 1960s – and both have gone from strength to strength in public esteem ever since.
Many of the senior NASA engineers and staff are huge Beatles fans – and this was a factor in the selection of “Across The Universe” as the first piece of music to ever be beamed into Deep Space. It is being sent as an offering of peace and harmony to whoever (and whatever) is out there!
• The song is targeted at Polaris - “The North Star” that was Man’s first navigational guide. Polaris is situated 431 Light Years into space. Each “Light Year” is a distance of 5,878,625,373,183 miles
• This cosmic message-in-a-bottle from Planet Earth will travel at the Speed Of Light – 186,000 miles per second!
• The song will take 431 years to reach Polaris – arriving in the year 2,439 AD.
• The song will travel 2.5 quadrillion miles away. (A quadrillion is one thousand million million! So 2,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles away!)
• According to scientists, as the beam containing the song propagates across the universe, the signal could theoretically be picked up by anyone or anything with the right equipment. Especially if they are Beatles fans…
• If the song hits Polaris and bounces back to Earth – it would reach us in the year 2870 AD! (345 years after Zager & Evans “In The Year 2525” is reissued!)
• As the radius of our galaxy is only 50,000 light years, after hitting Polaris, the song could travel on beyond our galaxy towards the “background stars”
• Monday February 4th is the exact 40th anniversary of the first recording of that song in 1968 by The Beatles. This took place at the EMI Studios in Abbey Road, London.
• The song – officially credited to Lennon-McCartney but written primarily by John Lennon – was one of Lennon’s favorite songs. The Beatles have released four separate versions of it since it was recorded. The version that is being beamed into space is the very first released version.
• The song “Across The Universe” has been performed by many artists including Bono, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Cyndi Lauper, Norah Jones, Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Robyn Hitchcock, Rufus Wainwright, Sean Lennon, Moby, Tim McGraw, Scott Weiland, Alicia Keys, Alison Krauss, Velvet Revolver, Fiona Apple, 10cc.
• “Across The Universe” was recently utilized as the title song of a movie musical that incorporated 33 Beatles songs and featured U2 singer Bono. The film was released theatrically in September 2007 and is being released on DVD in February 2008.
• The beaming of the song into space is being masterminded at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory - the center that built and successfully launched the first US satellite “Explorer 1” exactly 50 years ago. JPL also manages the Deep Space Network. The countdown to the historic transmission will commence at JPL in Pasadena, California - which will transmit the song to NASA’s Deep Space Communications Complex in Madrid, Spain that will then launch the song into space via a 70-meter diameter DSS-63 antenna. The antenna is usually used to communicate with deep space spacecraft, such as Voyager, Cassini, MER, and others.
All the details – including how fans can be part of this - are at the official website:
Further Info: Martin Lewis (available 24/7)
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