Oh my God, psyched! As if they read the Awl and know what a crappy August we've all been having, the folks at NASA are holding a contest where the public can choose "wake-up music" for the astronauts who man the penultimate space shuttle voyage, mission STS-133, scheduled to launch November 1st. Go to the NASA website, where you can listen to 40 songs that have been piped in to start astronauts' days on past missions (and you get to hear the radio communication back and forth with ground control, too) and vote for your favorites. I voted for Elton John's "Rocket Man," because… What do you mean because? I would have maybe chosen Bowie's "Space Oddity," but that one isn't available (understandable, when you think about how it ends). You can follow the tally, too. Here are the current vote leaders.
"Star Trek" theme, Alexander Courage: 309,597
"Magic Carpet Ride," Steppenwolf: 251,110
"Countdown," Rush: 201,871
That's so awesome that the "Star Trek" theme and Rush are up there! The astronauts' fate is in the hands Trekkers or pimply-faced thirteen-year-old-boys (and, ahem, the responsible adults they grow into). The astronauts must be like, "Oh, man, please don't let those Rush geeks win!" Actually, most astronauts are probably Rush geeks themselves, so… And, man, if Steppenwolf gets piped up there, that's gonna be one groovy, smoked-out cabin. They should send up a bong shaped like a booster rocket! Other good choices are Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" and Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" (God bless them!), but I'm pulling for "Rocket Man." Strangely, Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey On the Moon," is not among the selections.
There's also another contest, to choose music for the final space shuttle mission, STS-134, scheduled to launch on February 26, 2011. In this one, you can submit your own original music, and NASA will select top entries that the public can vote for. So, Dre, get those demos in by January 10.