For all you space-age DJs, now is your chance to select music for our astronauts. NASA is holding a Wake Up Song contest. Music suggestions are now being taken online at NASA’s website for the last two space shuttle missions. Selections are to be made from a Top 40 list. But, NASA is also looking for original music, too! Songwriters have until January 10th to send recordings to NASA.

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Most music is typically chosen by astronaut family members. NASA begins each day by waking up the shuttle crews with a wake up song. This contest marks the first time the general public will get to select music. For original songs, NASA is encouraging songwriters to create music related to or suggesting human space flight.

The space shuttle Endeavour will make the last of two space shuttle flights on February 26. The top two songs selected by the public will be posted on NASA’s website on February 8. NASA has used various songs and sounds in their audio wake up call chronology dating back to the Apollo missions of the mid 1960s. They have even played wake up music for some of the robotic missions as well, such as the Mars rover, Sojourner.

Music has played a role in space missions. The two Voyager spacecraft launched in the 1970s and now leaving our solar system both carry gold-plated records containing music from dozens of artists and cultures. Perhaps the most famous single piece of ’space music’ is Richard Strauss’ homage to Nietzche, Also Sprach Zarathustra, used in the opening theme of Stanley Kubrick’s iconic sci-fi classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey movie.

NASA wake up song contest will allow the public for the first time to select music for the last two space shuttle missions. Submissions to select from a top 40 list for Discovery’s launch on November 1, 2010 and original music for Endeavour’s launch on February 26, 2011 may be made at the link below. Original music must be submitted by January 10, 2011. Below is also an awesome music video showing a shuttle launch in all it’s glory!

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NASA Wake Up Music Chronology

Kubrick 2001: The space odyssey explained