Imagine floating near a huge window, looking down on our beautiful planet 400 km below, speeding by at 27 500 km/h. Could that experience get any better? “Yes it can, especially if you’re plugged into your favourite playlist,” says ESA astronaut Tim Peake.
Tim will spend six months on board the International Space Station, launching on 15 December 2015. He has selected 75 of his favourite tracks to keep him happy and motivated when working out, taking photos, watching Earth, reading or relaxing in his spare time (if he has any!).
But he will also be doing something a little different with his music: he is going to run one of the most exciting competitions to be held in space – with the help of some very special guest ‘crew members’ along the way…
Tim says, "I'm taking with me 75 of possibly the coolest patches ever flown in space, and one of them could be yours." A few times each week, Tim will tweet lines from the lyrics of his favourite songs. Reply to each tweet with the correct song title and artist to go down in history as the proud owner of an exclusive ESA #spacerocks patch that has flown in space. We will randomly choose a winner from correct answers submitted within the first 20 seconds. Simple as that, but do not forget to include the hashtag #spacerocks in your reply.
- Tim gets 14 GB of 'space' on his music player.
- He gets special 'custom fitted' earphones to wear - background noise on the International Space Station can get up to 70db when on the treadmill.
- Astronauts can choose some tracks to be played in the Soyuz whilst waiting for launch – what would you pick to get you in the mood while sitting on top of 300 tonnes of explosive fuel?
- Music is important for astronauts' wellbeing – it can provide an important connection with home, improve performance, help them relax and be better crewmembers (of course, as long as it's not ALL disco, eh, Mark Watney?).
- If Tim exhausts his playlist, he can get digital music files sent up via radio link to the Space Station.
It's amazing how much space has influenced music over the years and how many singers and musicians are space fans. Tim has already received several messages of support from some of his favourite artists, and there are plenty more to come.
Take a look to see what they had to say here:
Just to give you a flavour of Tim's diverse (and, in his own words, 'frankly sometimes weird') taste in music, check out a selection of his Principia mission playlist on ESA’s Spotify channel (and you're not cheating by listening, since most of these tracks are not included in #spacerocks.)
Of course, most of Tim's time on board the Space Station will not be spent listening to music. Check out the exciting things he'll be doing up there.
How to enter
Step 1. Follow @astro_timpeake.
Step 2. Watch out for Tim’s tweets during his flight, reply with the song title, artist and hash tag #spacerocks.
Step 3. ESA will be in touch with winners via Twitter direct message for address details, so make sure to follow @esaoperations who will inform you directly if you have won.
The patches will be sent out when they are returned from space at the end of the Principia mission. To be fair to all, we can give only one prize per winner. We trust you will enter into the spirit of the competition and not use a search engine to find the songs.
Good luck, Tim will be hearing from you in space!
Terms and conditions
1. The competition is organised by the European Space Agency and is open to everyone (with no restriction on nationality or residence), apart from ESA employees and contractors, and their immediate families.
2. Children under the age of 18 must have their parents’ permission to enter.
3. Participants agree to abide by the terms and conditions of Twitter. Entries must be submitted on Twitter in reply to @astro_timpeake and include the #spacerocks hashtag.
4. Only correctly spelled full song titles and artist names will be considered (as given in the UK Official Charts Company's www.officialcharts.com up to October 2015)
5. Winners will be contacted by @esaoperations for their postal address in order to mail the prize (details will be kept confidential and only used for that purpose). Prizes will be mailed out after they have returned from space, which is approximately May 2016, but this is subject to change.
6. Only one patch per winning postal address can be won across the competition period. ESA's decision is final and no correspondence shall be entered to discuss the winners.
7. ESA shall have the right to amend these terms and conditions at any time.