In the 1960s and 1970s when space travel was new, daring and romantic, a succession of musicians did space themed songs.
There was Frank Sinatra with Fly Me to the Moon, David Bowie with Space Oddity and Elton John with Rocket Man. More recently, REM did Man on the Moon. There are plenty more.
Now NASA would like to compile a musical soundtrack for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and for its planned return of man to the moon in 2024.
NASA said music has been interwoven throughout spaceflight history, from pre-launch songs to shuttle wake-up calls to crewmembers playing instruments on the International Space Station.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, we’re also preparing to go back to the moon by 2024, which means astronauts will have a non-stop journey of approximately three days each way – the ultimate long-distance travel,” it said.
“Just like any road trip needs a soundtrack, so does a spaceflight. If you were making the journey, what favourite song would you be sure to include on your playlist?”
NASA is inviting suggestions for songs that can be added to its playlist. Those can be submitted on Twitter with the hashtag #NASAMoonTunes or by way of an online form.
Applications opened on 3 June and close on 28 June. NASA said that’s the same time frame in which Apollo 11 astronauts were making their final preparations for their mission 50 years ago.
Playlist liftoff of its playlist will be 13 and 14 July – just before the Apollo 11 anniversary, with the songs to be aired during a live show on NASA’s Third Rock Radio.
There are few ground rules. Though tastes have changed in the last 50 years, songs with explicit titles, lyrics and themes are out.
Also, only songs published on official music streaming services at the time of the acceptance period will be added to the playlist. That rules out the awesome song you and your mates in the garage band knocked up during the week , even if it’s on user-uploaded content websites such as YouTube.
Song suggestions have to be submitted on the proper form or on Twitter hashtag #NASAMoonTunes on Twitter.
Finally, Third Rock Radio (yes, NASA really does have its own music streaming station) gets to choose – there’s no obligation to play any specific song from the playlist.
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