Friday, April 1, 2011

Behind The Music


Last August, NASA held a "Space Rock" Song Contest, asking fans and friends to choose the wake-up call music for the final two shuttle flights, STS-133 and STS-134.

Nearly 2.5 million votes poured in for STS-133, with the final five being something of a landslide. In a first for the space program, Shuttle Discovery astronauts were awakened on March 8th with a LIVE performance by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, who played their song "Blue Sky" at the Mission Control Center in Houston, TX.

The same crew, via the second place vote, was also treated to a recorded introduction to the Star Trek theme music, narrated by none other than Captain James T. Kirk himself, William Shatner. And of course, being Trek-related, this was the stunt that got all the press -- even though the song wasn't the winner!

NASA Song Contest
For STS-134, now due to launch later this month on April 19th, NASA invited folks to create original songs for competition, and received 1,350 entries!

Now, the finalists are in. Voting just opened a few days ago, so the count is only at about 40,000 right now; there are a few commanding leads, but with 20 days left, it's anyone's game to promote their space tunes.

The two songs with the most votes on launch day will be announced and played during Shuttle Endeavour's final trip into the skies.

Pick the Wake-Up Call
Once you go to the Song Contest site, mouse over each song title to read details about its inspiration, and also mouse over each name to read biographical information about each songwriter.

I spent a bit of time this morning listening to all the Top Ten entries, and they are an amazing array of clever, creative gems from all over America. From rock'n'roll to blues to folksy sing-a-longs, they all deserve credit for fine arrangements and great historical sound bytes from famous missions... it will be difficult to choose what the astronauts hear.

So go vote and help them decide! =)