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The event celebrates several anniversaries. It was 40 years ago on that date that the Beatles recorded the song. It will also commemorate NASA’s 50th anniversary, and 45 years of the Deep Space Network program. Fifty years ago, NASA launched its very first satellite, the Explorer 1.
Dr. Barry Geldzahler, the program executive for NASA’s Deep Space Network, is particularly delighted by the choice of song. "I’ve been a Beatles fan for 45 years, as long as the Deep Space Network has been around," said Geldzahler in the press release. "What a joy, especially considering that ‘Across the Universe’ is my personal favorite Beatles’ song."
Sir Paul McCartney was also understandably pleased at the decision. "Amazing! Well done NASA," wrote McCartney in a message to the space agency. "Send my love to the aliens."
Fans of the Beatles around the world have been invited to participate in the event by simultaneously playing the song at 7:00pm eastern North American time. A universal love-in, if you will.
Yoko Ono had this to say: "I see that this is the beginning of the new age in which we will communicate with billions of planets across the universe."
Of course Internet bloggers had much to add to the topic, much of it irreverent, such as suggesting that Jefferson Starship may have been a better choice, and wondering about copyright laws in space. Others, not big fans of the Beatles, said that sending a Beatles’ song to our alien friends would not encourage friendly inter-galactic relationships. "We shouldn’t annoy our new alien overlords by playing this bilge at them, it will end in tears, mark my words," commented one blogger,,,