NASA launching Beatles tune into space | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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NASA launching Beatles tune into space

The Beatles, clockwise from top left,Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison are shown on an album cover in 1965. More than 40 years after it barred the iconic British band from playing there, Israel said it wants the surviving members of the Beatles to participate in a concert celebrating the country's 60th birthday. But the Israeli embassy in London denied a report that the Jewish state had apologized for its original refusal to let the Beatles play there. The band had been booked to appear in 1965, but the government refused to grant the necessary permits on the ground that its music might corrupt the country's morals. (AP Photo/Robert Freeman- Copyright Apple Corps Ltd.) ** NO SALES **
AP | APPLE CORPS LTD.

WASHINGTON ” The Beatles are about to become radio stars in a whole new way. NASA on Monday will broadcast the Beatles’ song “Across the Universe” across the galaxy to Polaris, the North Star.

This first-ever beaming of a radio song by the space agency directly into deep space is nostalgia-driven. It celebrates the 40th anniversary of the song, the 45th anniversary of NASA’s Deep Space Network, which communicates with its distant probes, and the 50th anniversary of NASA.

“Send my love to the aliens,” Paul McCartney told NASA through a Beatles historian. “All the best, Paul.”



The song, written by McCartney and John Lennon, may have a ticket to ride and will be flying at the speed of light. But it will take 431 years along a long and winding road to reach its final destination. That’s because Polaris is 2.5 quadrillion miles away.

NASA loaded an MP3 of the song, just under four minutes in its original version, and will transmit it digitally at 7 p.m. EST Monday from its giant antenna in Madrid, Spain. But if you wanted to hear it on Polaris, you would need an antenna and a receiver to convert it back to music, the same way people receive satellite television.



The idea came from Martin Lewis, a Los Angeles-based Beatles historian, who then got permission from McCartney, Yoko Ono and the two companies that own the rights to Beatles’ music. One of those companies, Apple, was happy to approve the idea because is “always looking for new markets,” Lewis said.

Perhaps coincidentally, the song’s launching comes a day before the release of the DVD of the Julie Taymor movie named after the Beatles hit.


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