Let's Talk About: Music from space
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Our planet lies at the center of an invisible globe called the radiosphere, the area of space through which radio waves have traveled from Earth since the late 1930s.
Here, an electromagnetic narrative of mankind is written from the information we exchange through our radios, televisions and computers.
A major component of that narrative is a rich legacy of music: The works of artists from Mozart to Metallica, the birth of MTV and the death of Michael Jackson.
These musical moments and countless others zip through the cosmos at the speed of light, and on Aug. 28, they were joined by these words: "Why do they say the sky is the limit when I've seen footprints on the moon?"
This line comes from the song "Reach for the Stars," which premiered via transmission from the Curiosity Rover on Mars, thus making it the first song to ever be beamed to Earth from another planet.
Written and performed by musician and NASA devotee Will.i.am, "Reach for the Stars" exalts exploration through the integration of the arts and sciences.
"Today is about inspiring young people to lead a life without limits placed on their potential," said Will.i.am.
The broadcast marked a milestone in NASA's relationship with music, one that has existed since the early days of space flight.
Just a few short weeks before "Reach for the Stars" made its interplanetary debut, astronaut Joe Acaba became the first person to DJ from space with a two-hour broadcast aboard the International Space Station in which he used the latest technology to share rock tunes with listeners around the world.
Courtesy of the online radio station, Third Rock Radio, "The Joe Show" was part of an initiative similar to the one endorsed through the premiere of "Reach for the Stars."
A former teacher, Mr. Acaba expressed his appreciation for "the strong link between music and math" exhibited by the event.
First Published November 1, 2012 12:00 am