The all-civilian crew of Inspiration4 carries a special package into space in their personal gear – a digital copy of a song by an independent artist about finding meaning in existence.
Freelance singer-songwriter Foxanne saw her song “I could go on” rocket into space on September 15 when the Inspiration4 mission was launched into Earth orbit on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Full disclosure: Foxanne, real name Chelsea Gohd, is also a senior writer at Space.com. Additionally, the song is not officially part of the Inspiration4 mission.)
Sian Proctor, Inspiration4 mission pilot, geoscientist, science communicator and Afro-futurist space artist, who is a friend of Foxanne, worn the single and other songs on a personal playlist as the crew circled the Earth for three days at an altitude of 357 miles (575 kilometers). This is almost twice as high as the typical orbit of the International Space Station of 200 miles (450 km). (Note: This personal playlist is separate from the official Mission Spotify playlist that the crew shares.)
Related: Inspiration4: SpaceX’s Historic Private Space Flight In Photos
If you want to listen to the new indie-pop single by yourself, you can check it out at Spotify, Apple Music, Band Camp and most other streaming services. A music video for “I could Go On” will also be posted on YouTube; it was shot at the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey. Foxanne’s music is also available on TikTok.
Proctor and Foxanne met during the two-week Sensoria M2 analog space mission in November 2020, in the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) habitat on the flank of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa. The Sensoria mission series aimed to highlight groups that are under-represented in space exploration, with all missions being led by women and predominantly female.
âAnalog missions like these allow scientists and researchers to conduct experiments in a unique mission environment on Mars and often institutions like NASA collaborate on research done at analog facilities,â Foxanne wrote in May. in an article discussing a documentary she produced on Sensoria. Simulated M2 mission to Mars for Space.com.
Proctor supported Foxanne’s crew of five in the mission control role. Proctor, a 2009 NASA Astronaut Selection Finalist, has also been part of several space analog teams and has done outreach science communications on diversity and representation. (She was selected for Inspiration4 following the success of an inspiration video she created about her work and Store “Space2Inspire”, which features postcards and prints of her Afrofuturism space art to encourage conversations about women of color in the space industry.)
Foxanne’s single in Space also features percussion and backing vocals from Juilliard School-trained Andrew Funcheon and a slide guitar from AGL Studios’ Doug Gallo, who also recorded and mixed the single.
Foxanne is a longtime space music enthusiast, having done a song on the Mars-stranded Opportunity rover and released a single featuring sounds of the red planet recorded by another rover, Perseverance. Foxanne’s debut studio album “It’s Real (I Knew It)” was released in December 2020; Elephant Talk Indie named the record best album of the year.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.