NASA to beam Beatles' song "Across the Universe" to Polaris

2008-02-01 18:06:00 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- NASA will broadcast next Monday the Beatles' song "Across the Universe" across the galaxy to Polaris, the North Star, to celebrateds the 40th anniversary of the song and the 50th anniversary of NASA, according to media reports Saturday.

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

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 quadrillions of km 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.

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

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, is happy to approve the idea because it is "always looking for new markets," Lewis said.