Category Archives: Space Music

Space music: “The Mission” by Styx takes listeners on the first mission to Mars

Styx in June released The Mission, their 15th studio album since the progressive rock band started out in the early 1970s. The concept album depicts the first human mission to Mars.

[Tommy Shaw]’s cosmos-themed language reflects the story line that he and producer Will Evankovich created for The Mission. It takes place in 2033 and deals with the first manned mission to Mars via Khedive, a nuclear-powered spaceship, underwritten by the Global Space Exploration Program (GSEP). The three singing members of Styx — Shaw, James “JY” Young and Lawrence Gowan — play the roles of the Pilot, First Officer and the Engineer, and the other three — Chuck Panozzo, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips — serves as the ship’s crew.

“The Mission is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be a part of something unique and special that’s happening in real time right in front of you,” Evankovich said of working on the project, which took two years to record. “It is one of those albums that musically and cosmically showed you the next right thing to do every step of the way. I will forever be grateful and proud of what we did in this body of art.”

As Panozzo said, “The Mission is a sincere and honest representation of how Styx built upon where we were in the 20th century in order to go somewhere new in the 21st century.”

Here is an interview with Styx’s Tommy Shaw about the album:

And Shaw recently sang a brief tribute to the late great Cassini spacecraft: Styx Sings Touching Farewell to Cassini Probe Before It Crashes into Saturn


Videos: Rocket Opera “One Way Trip to Mars” – World Premiere

From the latest Explore Mars newsletter comes news of the premier of a rock opera about settling Mars:

Explore Mars, Inc. excited about our sponsorship of the innovative rock opera, One Way Trip to Mars that will have its world theatrical premiere from August 24-27, 2017 at the Waterville Opera House in Waterville, Maine.

Composed by Peter Alexander and Johanna Harkness, and based on a story written by Dennis St. Pierre, the setting of this ambitious production is in the year 2033 when “…NASA sends the astronaut Paolo on a one-way trip to Mars to set up the infrastructure for a human colony, but he must leave behind forever everything he holds dear— including his loving wife Cassandra….”. The show features a professional cast that underwent an extensive auditioning process in New York City. [With “international recording artist Fantine  playing the leading lady role”.]

“Explore Mars has always firmly believed that if the goal of landing humans on Mars in the 2030s is to be achieved, not only must the scientific, engineering, and policy communities are fully engaged but so too must the arts and entertainment community,” commented Explore Mars CEO, Chris Carberry. “One Way Trip to Mars is a unique show that will not only entertain theatergoers but also will help to build the necessary public support for actual human missions beginning by the year 2033.”

The production will also feature an Art and Science Fair to help engage students and the audience in the drama and science of Mars exploration and contribute to the public’s interest and support for future missions to Mars and beyond.

According to composer Peter Alexander, “One of the key features of our show is that the storyline is based on current science. The production highlights that human missions to Mars in the 2030s are both realistic and feasible, which is a message that has been espoused by Explore Mars, Inc. for many years and for which Explore Mars has gained great respect and credibility within the space exploration community. We are very pleased and excited to be able to partner with Explore Mars, Inc. in this endeavor.”

One Way Trip to Mars highlighted in the Portland Press Herald (

Tickets are now on sale for One Way Trip to Mars at


Video: Making music from a solar eclipse with the Kronos Quartet

On August 21st, the Kronos Quartet will create music out of the solar eclipse in an event sponsored by San Francisco’s Exploratorium and organized by composer Wayne Grim :

Eclipse Sonification with Kronos Quartet Offers a Chance
to Listen to “Music of the Spheres”

Jordin Kare – laser propulsion expert, physicist, rocket designer & filksinger – dies at age 60

Physicist, rocket designer, laser propulsion proponent, co-founder of LaserMotive, and music composer Jordin Kare passed away last week: Remembering Jordin Kare (1956-2017) – Centauri-Dreams)

We’ve just lost a fine interstellar thinker. Jordin Kare has died of aortic valve failure at age 60. While Kare played a role in the Clementine lunar mapping mission and developed a reusable rocket concept in the 1990s that he thought could be parlayed into a space launch system (in typical Kare fashion, he called it “DIHYAN,” for ‘Do I Have Your Attention Now?’), it is through a laser sail system called SailBeam and a ‘fusion runway’ concept that he will most likely be remembered among those who study starflight. But he was also an active science fiction fan, ‘filksinger’ and poet whose name resonates wherever science fiction fans gather.

Here is Jordin’s song “Fire in the Sky“, sung by Kristoph Klover from the To Touch the Stars album of space inspired music.


Music video: Mars anthem world premier: “Rise to Mars!”

A world premier performance of the Red Planet anthem “Rise to Mars!

From the caption:

Rise to Mars! Men and women
Dare to dream! Dare to strive!
Build a home for our children
Make this desert come alive!

There are challenges before our eyes
That nature never knew
But the power of human enterprise
Shall take us through and through!

Rise to Mars! Men and women
Dare to dream! Dare to strive
Build a home for our children
Make this desert come alive!

Come along raging nations
Altogether hopeful spirits
Bring an end to strife
For our future lies beyond the skies

Rise to Mars! Men and women
Dare to dream! Dare to strive!
Build a home for our children
Make this desert come alive!

Come along, altogether
For our future
Rise to Mars!

by Oscar Castellino
words Oscar Castellino and Robert Zubrin
orchestration James Welland

Orchestra Royal Welsh REPCo Sinfonia, soloist Oscar Castellino
venue Dora Stoutzker Hall, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff