My son sent me the following press release from NASA---
NASA AND THE BEATLES CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARIES BY BEAMING SONG 'ACROSS THE UNIVERSE' INTO DEEP SPACE
WASHINGTON -- For the first time ever, NASA will beam a song -- The
Beatles' "Across the Universe" -- directly into deep space at 7 p.m.
EST on Feb. 4.
The transmission over NASA's Deep Space Network will commemorate the
40th anniversary of the day The Beatles recorded the song, as well as
the 50th anniversary of NASA's founding and the group's beginnings.
Two other anniversaries also are being honored: The launch 50 years
ago this week of Explorer 1, the first U.S. satellite, and the
founding 45 years ago of the Deep Space Network, an international
network of antennas that supports missions to explore the universe.
The transmission is being aimed at the North Star, Polaris, which is
located 431 light years away from Earth. The song will travel across
the universe at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. Former Beatle
Sir Paul McCartney expressed excitement that the tune, which was
principally written by fellow Beatle John Lennon, was being beamed
into the cosmos.
"Amazing! Well done, NASA!" McCartney said in a message to the space
agency. "Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul."
Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, characterized the song's transmission as a
"I see that this is the beginning of the new age in which we will
communicate with billions of planets across the universe," she said.
It is not the first time Beatles music has been used by NASA; in
November 2005, McCartney performed the song "Good Day Sunshine"
during a concert that was transmitted to the International Space
Station. "Here Comes the Sun," "Ticket to Ride" and "A Hard Day's
Night" are among other Beatles' songs that have been played to wake
astronaut crews in orbit.
Feb. 4 has been declared "Across The Universe Day" by Beatles fans to
commemorate the anniversaries. As part of the celebration, the public
around the world has been invited to participate in the event by
simultaneously playing the song at the same time it is transmitted by
NASA. Many of the senior NASA scientists and engineers involved in
the effort are among the group's biggest fans.
"I've been a Beatles fan for 45 years â€" as long as the Deep Space
Network has been around," said Dr. Barry Geldzahler, the network's
program executive at NASA Headquarters, Washington. "What a joy,
especially considering that 'Across the Universe' is my personal
favorite Beatles song."
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., operates the
Deep Space Network. For information about the Deep Space Network, go
Now if we could just get them to beam 'Amazing Grace' or O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" across the universe.