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Apollo 11: The songs astronauts listen to above Earth may surprise you

A view of Earth from the moon. (NASA/Released)

The smartphone you might be using to read this article is light years ahead of the computer NASA launched to the moon half a century ago.

On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft took off housing a main computer with just 64KB of memory, according to the aviation data company Flight Global. Compare that to your 64GB iPhone XR or Pixel 3, and you’ll find that your phone has the capacity to store literally over a million times more data than the tech that helped humankind achieve one of its grandest feats of all time.

NASA says its computer had enough memory to store just 256 erasable words – you likely have more words stored in your email app, text messages or music library alone.

Thankfully, our devices can store more than a handful of words; they’ve also got space enough for our tunes as well. To that end, Spotify is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing by spotlighting the “Moon”-oriented tracks stargazers of all professions love.

In addition, the streaming service offers insight into the songs space travelers moonwalk to above ground.

Songs like “Run the World Girls” by Beyonce, “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay and “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles were each played by Mission Control onboard space shuttles to awaken astronauts on missions, NASA told Spotify.

The commonality between songs played during space missions “is that they promote a sense of camaraderie and esprit de corps among the astronauts and ground support personnel,” according to NASA’s website.

During the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reportedly took cassettes (it’s what music files used to be stored on) with their favorite songs en route to and from the moon. Record producer Mickey Kapp was commissioned to create the mixtape, according to Vanity Fair and songs included Barbra Streisand’s “People” and Glen Campbell’s “Galveston.”

People on the ground might want to celebrate NASA’s achievement by listening to songs with moon in the name, regardless of genre. On Spotify alone, there are more than 185,000 tracks to choose from including Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words),” and Ariana Grande’s “Moonlight.”

According to Spotify data, during notable space events, there’s typically a bump in streams of Aerosmith’s song “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” which was on the “Armageddon” soundtrack.

Most-streamed moon tunes on Spotify in 2019

In no particular order.

1. “Bad Moon Rising” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

2. “Talking to the Moon” – Bruno Mars

3. “Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)” – Frank Sinatra, Count Basie

4. “Moonlight” – Ariana Grande

5. “Man On The Moon” – R.E.M.

6. “Walking On The Moon” – The Police

7. “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” – Randy Houser

8. “Moonage Daydream” – David Bowie

9. “Moondance” – Van Morrison

10. “Can’t Fight The Moonlight” – LeAnn Rimes

11. “Moonlight” – Grace VanderWaal

12. “Mwaka Moon” – Kalash, Damso

13. “Get You The Moon (feat. Snøw)” – Kina, Snøw

14. “Dancing in the Moonlight” – Toploader

15. “Harvest Moon” – Neil Young

16. “Dancing In The Moonlight (feat. NEIMY)” – Jubël

17. “The Killing Moon” – Echo & the Bunnymen

18. “Pink Moon” – Nick Drake

19. “Bark at the Moon” – Ozzy Osbourne

20. “My Moon My Man” – Feist

21. “Dancing In The Moonlight” – King Harvest

22. “Sonata No. 14 “Moonlight” in C-Sharp Minor”, Op. 27 No. 2: I. Adagio sostenuto” – Ludwig van Beethoven, Paul Lewis

23. “Neon Moon” – Brooks & Dunn

24. “The Moon and the Sky” – Sade

25. “Moon River” – Frank Ocean

26. “Half Moon” – Blind Pilot

27. “Shoot the Moon” – Norah Jones

28. “Why iii Love the Moon” – Phony Ppl

29. “Howling At The Moon” – Milow

30. “Moonlight Shadow” – Mike Oldfield

31. “Harvest Moon” – Poolside

32. “Moonlight” – XXXTENTACION

33. “Man On The Moon” – Kid Cudi

34. “Blue Moon” – Beck

35. “To The Moon” – Phora

36. “To the Moon & Back” – Savage Garden

37. “Dark Side Of The Moon (feat. Nicki Minaj)” – Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj

38. “Moon River (From Breakfast at Tiffany’s)” – Andy Williams

39. “Moonshadow” – Yusuf / Cat Stevens

40. “Moonlight” – Charli XCX, Lil Xan

41. “To the Moon and Back” – Luke Bryan

42. “Moonlight Serenade” – Glenn Miller

43. “This Is How We Walk On The Moon” – José González

44. “Dancing In The Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In Its Spotlight)” – Thin Lizzy

45. “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” – AWOLNATION

46. “Moon River (Vocal Audrey Hepburn)” – Henry Mancini

47. “Moon Trance” – Lindsey Stirling

48. “Blue Moon – 1998 Digital Remaster” – Frank Sinatra

49. “Moonlight Sonata” – Michael Silverman

50. “Autumn Moon On A Calm Lake” – Lang Lang, Lü Wencheng


© 2019 USA Today

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