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NASA to beam Beatles song into deep space

4 Feb marks 'Across The Universe Day'

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NASA will on 4 February beam Beatles' ditty Across the Universe into deep space to mark the 40th anniversary of the day the Fab Four recorded the song, as well as the launch 50 years ago this week of Explorer 1 and the 45th birthday of its Deep Space Network (DSN).

According to the press release, the transmission is being directed towards the North Star, Polaris, and will travel at 186,000 miles per second towards its 431 light year-distant target.

Dr Barry Geldzahler, the DSN's program executive at NASA's Washington headquarters, said of "Across The Universe Day": "I've been a Beatles fan for 45 years - as long as the Deep Space Network has been around. What a joy, especially considering that Across the Universe is my personal favorite Beatles song."

Paul McCartney enthused to the agency: "Amazing! Well done, NASA! Send my love to the aliens. All the best, Paul."

John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, chipped in with: "I see that this is the beginning of the new age in which we will communicate with billions of planets across the universe."

If you want to participate in the intergalactic love-in, NASA is inviting citizens of Earth to play the song at the same time as its dispatch into the cosmos at 7pm EST (midnight GMT) next Monday. ®

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