Songs by Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Timbaland are now on the moon

Aprilia Rine

Songs by Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and Timbaland are now on the moon

A lunar lander containing digitised recordings of songs from Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Timbaland and more touched down on the moon last week.

The historic landing of the Odysseus spacecraft marked the first time a private lander successfully landed on the moon, as well as the first American craft to touch down since 1972.

The lander brought a time capsule to the moon containing various arts-centric artefacts. It also contains a documentary, namely Michael P. Nash’s acclaimed 2010 documentary Climate Refugees.

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“In case we blow ourselves up with a nuclear weapon or a meteor hits us or climatic change wipes us out, there’s a testament of our history sitting on the moon,” he said [via Billboard].

Elvis Presley. Credit: Getty Images.

The time capsule spans millennia, even containing a Sumerian cuneiform fragment of musical notation. Other artists whose music appears in the collection include Marvin Gaye, Santana, Chuck Berry, Sly & the Family Stone, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin and The Who and many more. It also has photos of music events like Woodstock and album art, such as Pink Floyd‘s ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’. It came in a glass, nickel and NanoFiche structure built to last millions of, if not a billion, years.

Some of the material included songs that haven’t been released. “Songs that have never been released, ever — they’re on the moon now,” said Dallas Santana, who came up with the idea of sending artists to the moon. “The world will find out about them,” he promised.

He emphasised that he’d chosen music from the year 1969, as well as artists who had played Woodstock that year, for a reason – humans first set foot on the moon that year, not long before Woodstock took place. Santana told the outlet that he hoped the time capsule would evoke the same sense of peace and togetherness.

Until now, Santana had kept the names of the musicians featured fairly quiet. “NASA doesn’t know – SpaceX doesn’t know yet,” he said. “Elon Musk is the greatest rocketeer of all time, we’re grateful for his company. When we decided to have conversations about musicians last year, we thought it was not appropriate to bring to it to his attention what we were going to do. And musicians were concerned about that. They said, ‘Does Elon Musk have anything to do with deciding what musicians go up there?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely not, this is a private payload.’”

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