To honor a supernova of historic anniversaries, NASA transmitted The Beatles song "Across the Universe" into Deep Space, specifically at The North Star, Polaris, a mere 431 light years away. Here are the significant historical dates commemorated by beaming "Across The Universe" well...quite literally across the universe:
1) The 40th Anniversary of The Beatles recording "Across The Universe"
2) The 50th Anniversary of NASA being founded
3) The 50th Anniversary of Explorer 1 being launch (America's first satellite)
4) The 45th Anniversary of The Deep Space Network being founded
And yet- this was not the first time that music and deep space have collided...
NASA first sent 27 songs into Deep Space in 1977 as a part of the Golden Record Project which was sent aboard two Voyagers. Sounds upon these golden records included everything from humans greeting "Hello from Earth" in 55 different languages, to classical music, blues music, Aboriginal music and Spanish music, to nature sounds to trains and rocket sounds.
Here is a sample of what was sent:
** "Hello from the children of planet earth" spoken in English is heard at 0:49 seconds **
In 1977, the current United Nations Secretary-General at that time was Kurt Waldheim who holds the honor of giving opening remarks to start the first record of many sent:
“As Secretary-General of the United Nations, an organization of 147 member states representing nearly all of human life on planet Earth, I send greetings on behalf of the people of our planet. We come out of our solar system into the universe looking only for peace and friendship – to teach if we are called to such, to learn if we are fortunate. We know well that our planet and all our inhabitants are a small part of this immense universe that surrounds us, and it is with our humility and hope that we take this step."
Why Are Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 historic besides giving a new meaning to "infinite playlist?"
Voyager 1 is the first space craft to have entered "interstellar space" and Voyager 2 is the only space craft to have flown in the orbit of four planets- the "Giants:" Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and the artist (we mean planet) formerly known as Neptune. Voyager 2 also entered interstellar space several years after Voyager 1.
Then there's the whole over 41 years in space factor:
Launched in 1977, people!
Yes, as in the dark ages before cell phones or laptops-
Your cell phone has more functions and memory space than the computers on board Voyagers 1 and Voyager 2-
These space craft were launched, calculated, tracked by humans still holding pencils, paper and calculators like this:
NASA also wanted to include The Beatles "Here Comes The Sun" upon The Golden Record Project, however, despite approval from the band itself, the record label vetoed such action (sad times for a pre-iROC era). Good thing we know an Intergalactic Royalties Operation Corporation that could assist with that in any such future astronomic musical conundrums...