It's clear, by now, that the most interesting thing about NASA's Mars Exploration Program is not Mars itself, which appears to consist chiefly of boring dust mountains and nothing else, but the Curiosity Rover sent there to document it.
Curiosity is unnervingly chipper. She is an amateur photographer who takes very bad photographs. She is a girl, apparently, because the NASA crew use female pronouns when discussing her. She has a stripper's name.
Now we know that she also has very scattered music taste.
The engineers and scientists from the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission revealed the robot's wake-up playlist during an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit Thursday.
(Martian days, called "sols" are 40 minutes longer than Earth days. It's a tradition of the manned space program to begin every Martian morning by playing a different song in Mission Control as the rover "wakes up.")
Here's the list so far:
Sol 2: Good Morning Good Morning by the Beatles (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club)
Sol 3: Good Morning, Good Morning from Singin' in the Rain.
Sol 4: [The thread did not include song playlist infomation for Sol 4. WHAT HAPPENED ON SOL 4? Probably some kind of racist joke. This proves that NASA is racist, I guess.]
Sol 5: The Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner // Theme from "Mission Impossible" (played after the rover successfully received a software upgrade)
Sol 6: Got the Time by Anthrax // Echelon by 30 Seconds to Mars
Sol 7: Break on Through by The Doors // Got My Mind Set on You by George Harrison
Sol 8: Theme from Star Wars by John Williams
Sol 9: Wake Up Little Susie by Simon and Garfunkel
Sol 10: Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra
The only coherency in this playlist is that a lot of these songs seem chosen specifically to make Curiosity feel bad.
The Beatles' Good Morning, Good Morning is all about the oppressive monotony of daily life — just the kind of depressing tune you want to play right before you send your stripper robot out to trudge around a friendless Martian dustcape. Most of the others are about love, which Curiosity has never known because she's afraid of getting hurt. Echelon is a song by 30 Seconds to Mars, and if you can't escape 30 Seconds to Mars on Mars, where can you escape them?
The weirdest thing is that they don't just play Theme from Star Wars every morning, because what could make more sense?
(Maybe Got My Mind Set On You, a song about an insanely expensive, drawn-out longterm project with no end in sight.)