Yesterday the folks at NASA completed yet another successful mission. However, unlike their other missions, this did not entail sending an Astronaut on a dangerous spacewalk or launching a space shuttle. Entitled "To boldly go where no music has ever gone before" - this mission was to beam music into deep space for the first time ever.
The final destination for the song is Polaris ("The North Star"). The song chosen for this historic event? - A classic peace song by The Beatles called "Across the Universe".
While NASA has beamed music to manned spacecraft before, this is their first attempt to send music to outer space. The event was organized to celebrate a number of anniversaries that coincidentally (unexpectedly) fall in the same year.They include:
- Fifty years since NASA was founded
- Fifty years since the first US Satellite (Explorer 1) was launched into space
- The song "Across the Universe" was recorded 40 years ago on February 4th
NASA invited people across the globe to celebrate this historic event, by declaring February 4th - "Across the Universe Day", and setting up a special website (http://www.acrosstheuniverseday.com/) where Beatle fans all over the world were asked to play the song at the same time as NASA was transmitting it.
Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) we will never know if the "Aliens" liked our choice of music. That's because Polaris 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.
In case you have no idea who "The Beatles" are - they were a young British rock group comprising of four members - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. The group was extremely popular amongst young people all over the world in the 1960's. They broke up in 1969. Currently only two members of the group, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are still alive. The songs sung by the Beatles still remain very popular among all age groups even today.
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