The annual global celebration of "Yuri's Night," commemorating the April 1961 flight of Vostok 1, increases in popularity every year. As we enter the second half-century of human spaceflight, it is a time to reflect on the development of global space culture. It began in the 1950's as two distinct cultures--Soviet and American--reflecting the Cold War rivalry that fueled the Space Race. In the intervening decades there has been a blending of these two initial cultures, other nations have added their cultural voices, and the center of the emerging global space culture has shifted. National space cultures have displayed different emphases on science fiction and UFO themes versus devotion to national astronautic accomplishments. These and other factors may be leading cultural indicators of the vigor of national space efforts and their relevance to the global thrust into the final frontier.
The researcher seeks co-researchers with backgrounds in cultural anthropology or musicology with a strong interest in space history. Of particular interest is collaboration with researchers who are familiar with space-themed music from non-English speaking cultures.
The collection of more than 2,700 music tracks is organized chronologically into segments approximating the running time of a compact disc (CD), which include voice clips of important events to provide historical context. The play lists are being rolled out incrementally as research continues. Most of the music can be found online and downloaded free of charge. In addition, a library of song lyrics is in development.
This is music to fly to Mars by. If you listened to one CD every day, you would almost be there at the end of this collection!