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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2013/04/10/the-nasa-scientist-and-the-nats-anthem/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2b3681fdc91c

The NASA scientist and the Nats anthem

By Dan Steinberg

April 10, 2013

While he was driving his then-grade-school-aged
son to their first opening day together a quarter-century ago, Dr. Barry
Geldzahler asked the lad whether he knew the national anthem.

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame?” the
boy asked.

“Close enough,” Geldzahler
remembered responding.

The story occurred to NASA’s chief
scientist for space communications and navigation while explaining why he
composed a song about baseball, and specifically, an anthem for his favorite
team, the Nats.

“I thought, this should make people
happy,” Geldzahler told me this week. “We didn’t want it real complicated. We
wanted something simple, a melody that people could remember four, five, six
beers down….Something that people can carry with them when they leave the
stadium or on the way there, just something to get people going.”

The result was “Let’s Go Nats,” a
ditty that variously references the Racing Presidents, Half Street and, of
course, Natitude. Geldzahler, 64, played music in high school before
getting more serious about it in recent years; his biggest musical inspiration
remains the Beatles, whom he saw twice in concert. That’s why he helped NASA
beam the band’s “Across the Universe”

into deep space, aimed at Polaris, traveling 186,000 miles per second, a few
years back.

“I’ve been a Beatles fan for 45
years – as long as the Deep Space Network has been around,” he said at the
time
. “What a joy, especially
considering that ‘Across the Universe’ is my personal favorite Beatles song.”

(As an aside, a senior NASA
scientist and SABR member who beams Beatles tunes into deep space is such a
perfect representation of the Nats fanbase. “I can get you to Mars, but I can’t
get you from Point A to Point B on Earth without a GPS system,” he joked. Love
this town.)

Anyhow, he hoped to eventually get
the Nats interested in playing the song, at least on NASA Night in July. His
son — who this season accompanied Geldzahler to their 25th opening day together
— is lukewarm on the tune; “some people will like it, but it’s more of an
’80s-type style,” he told his father. No matter. The composer listens to the
song in his car on gamedays, and does some chair dancing, and thinks he can
hear some of the joy he was trying to create.

“I mean, finally we’ve got a real
winner here,” he said. “That’s sort of what we wanted for ‘Let’s Go Nats,’ just
something people could be happy about.”

#

http://forums.canadiancontent.net/showthread.php?t=71077

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/02_01/macetsplit0202_468x340.jpg

'Send my love to aliens,' says McCartney
as Beatles tune is first to be beamed into space

By BARRY WIGMORE
2nd February 2008
Daily Mail

A song by The Beatles - the most successful band of all time - is the first to
be beamed into space

The average music fan gets
to inflict their taste on a few car passengers or, if they're lucky, the
listeners of a radio request show.

NASA's Barry Geldzahler gets to impose his on the cosmos.

The agency's Deep Space Network is to transmit Dr. Geldzahler's favourite
Beatles tune 431 light years away, in an attempt to find life on other planets.

Paul McCartney and ET: Will the Fab Four's song reach alien ears as it becomes
the first tune to be beamed into space?

On the 40th anniversary of the day it was recorded, "Across the
Universe" will start travelling at 186,000 miles per SECOND but it will
still take 431 years to reach its target, the North Star.

NASA is asking Beatles fans to play the song at the same time as its scientists
push the "transmit" button at 2pm London time on Monday, in the hope
that this noise "clutter" might also reach intelligent alien life.

The agency has broadcast the group's songs into space before but only on low power
transmissions to the International Space Station. This is the first time any
song has been transmitted into deep space.

Mr Geldzahler said: "I've been a Beatles fan for 45 years - as long as DSN
has been around.

"What a joy this is, especially considering that Across the Universe is my
personal favourite Beatles song."

The song was written in 1967, mainly by John Lennon with contributions by Sir
Paul McCartney.

Sir Paul greeted the news yesterday with a message to DSN's headquarters at the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, that said: "Amazing!
Well done NASA! Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul."

As well as transmitting to and listening for aliens, DSN controls the
spacecraft on long range missions that have been launched to Mars, Venus and
beyond.

The largest, most sensitive telecommunications system in the world, it has huge
stations at Goldstone in California's Mojave Desert, near Madrid in Spain, and
in Canberra, Australia.