Nasa / Space optimize

Geek Trivia: What was the last astronaut wake-up song ever played aboard a space shuttle?

Find out the last song ever used by NASA to awaken astronauts aboard an orbiting space shuttle.

A Kate Smith rendition of "God Bless America" was followed by a historical greeting from astronaut and mission CAPCOM Shannon Lucid as the final wake-up call for a space shuttle crew. The complete wake-up call playlist for STS-135 included:

While such human touches will forever have a place in manned spaceflight, the final chapter of musical accompaniment for shuttle astronauts is worth its own moment's pause (if only to note that Coldplay somehow got two spots on the final shuttle playlist, while the likes of The Beatles and Elton John only merited one apiece).

That's not just a sonorous send-off for shuttle spaceflight, it's a momentously melodious mark-point for manned orbital Geek Trivia.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

8 comments
Marty-7
Marty-7

Didn't the Dragon return to earth with a payload from the ISS? Granted, it was mostly stuff they didn't care too much about, but it seems like that qualifies as a "downmass payload" - or am I missing something? (Hey, it's Friday...) Glad to see the Geek Trivia column - haven't seen it in a while. :)

rocket ride
rocket ride

"A number of historical lasts occurred within STS-135, which is to be expected when you retire what is arguably the most recognizable and indisputably the longest running spaceflight program ever put forth by humankind." Longest running? Really? What about Soyuz? Soyuz-1 (launch) 4/23/67 STS-1 (launch) 4/12/81 (Funny, I didn't notice at the time the nod to Yuri Gagarin's flight on 4/12/61.) STS-135 (landing) 7/21/11 Soyuz (last landing) ? (hasn't happened yet). So far, Soyuz has outlasted the Shuttle by nearly fifteen years. And counting. -- Paul

vitec
vitec

Kate Smith's rendition of "God Bless America" concluded shuttle wake-up calls for STS-135 and the entire program on July 21, 2011. Credit: RCA Flight Day 14 - July 21, 2011 Kate Smith’s rendition of Irving Berlin’s "God Bless America" woke Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.

Jay Garmon
Jay Garmon

...the shuttle was unique in that it could do free orbital downmass capture -- it could snag standalone satellites never intended to perform reentry and bring them safely to ground. Technically, every time an astronaut returns to earth he or she is "downmass" so every spacecraft has downmass payload capacity, but the shuttle was a rather unique cargo hauler. I should have been more clear.

Jay Garmon
Jay Garmon

...but Soyuz has had a number of fits and starts, not least because the country that started it -- the USSR -- hasn't existed for 20 years. Soyuz-designated capsules have been around since the 1960s, but it's a point of debate as to whether they all belong to one, uninterrupted program.

rocket ride
rocket ride

I think that as a series of machines Soyuz is unquestionably a continuum. As computer and other electronic gear got better they did upgrade, but then, so did the operators of the STS. So that's a wash. As a series of political/economic gestures it can be argued either way. But I think that the technological continuity trumps the lack of political continuity, so, yes, I'm going to retain my original opinion

Jay Garmon
Jay Garmon

...but then I'll go a month without great feedback like this. Suffice it to say, if the Quibble was still running, this would earn a mention.