SpaceX Astronaut Crew Used Black Sabbath as Their Morning Alarm
The world is burning, millions are sick and our government is hopelessly corrupt, but Americans were able to join in a ten minute respite from all of that on Saturday to watch two NASA astronauts launch into the Earth’s orbit via SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. The first manned U.S. space mission since 2011 has a bit of metal intertwined with its history: the two-man crew, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, have already utilized both AC/DC and Black Sabbath to get them into the interstellar mood.
There’s nothing particularly cosmic about AC/DC’s upbeat tunes, but the astronauts blasted “Back in Black” to hype themselves up on their way to the launchpad at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. We can only imagine the kind of nervous energy they were experiencing in that moment, and every moment leading up to blastoff.
Black Sabbath, surprisingly, came as the astronauts’ wake-up call on their first “morning” in space. After settling into orbit, the astronauts had a 19-hour window before their rendezvous with the International Space Station, so they did what humans do when faced with long periods of time: they slept. In order to prepare for the docking sequence at 10:30am EDT, they woke up at 4:45am EDT… to the sultry sounds of Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan.”
The chilled out vibes of “Caravan” aren’t typical of Sabbath, but it’s one of their better-known tracks and the cosmic connection is undeniable, with lines like, “We sail through endless skies/ Stars shine like eyes/ The black night sighs.” My only worry would be that the track is too chill to get them out of bed, but it doesn’t seem that was a problem: the link-up with the ISS went according to plan.
It’s likely the soundtrack choices came from Behnken, a fan of metal who woke up to Tool’s “Parabola” during a 2010 Space Shuttle mission.
In case you missed the launch, it’s pretty mind-blowing stuff, and it’s a quick watch that offers a fun distraction from all the chaos and death in the world right now. Check it out below.