NASA: Mars mission astronauts to have Prime Music, Alexa
October 16, 2015 (AFD News)
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced today that they have entered into a contract with Amazon (AMZN) to provide a wide variety of music to astronauts on the planned 2035 mission to Mars.
Mission Project Manager Dr. James Kelloway explained that the space agency did not want to limit any stranded astronauts to “1970s disco music”, an obvious reference to The Martian (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) and the current #1 movie in the world, The Martian, starring Matt Damon.
In both the book and movie, astronaut Mark Watney is accidentally stranded on the red planet. Humor is mined from the only music available to him being the captain’s collection of 1970s music, including the Swedish group ABBA and “Queen of Disco” Donna Summer (LaDonna Gaines).
“Prime Music is proud to have something for everyone,” said Steve Boom, VP of Digital Music at Amazon. “From the latest chart-topping hits to classical music, multicultural selections, and even sound effects, the Mars Mission crew will have whatever they need to stay focused and keep up their morale during what we are sure will be a successful scientific adventure.”
“This is so cool!” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
In addition to the music, Amazon will provide their Alexa Voice Service, currently available on the
and the second generation
Greg Hart, Amazon’s VP for the Amazon Echo, said: “While readers loved the science in Andy Weir’s book, many of them and some bloggers questioned the lack of conversational software. The isolation that Mark Watney felt would have been alleviated to some extent by having someone to talk to. Hearing jokes, playing games, and asking pop culture questions would have had a positive psychological effect.”
In a short Q&A afterwards, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the music would not actually be streamed but would be downloaded and that two-day delivery to the Mars habitat would not be available, refuting an earlier story reported on several tech blogs.
Note: this post is humor. AFD News is short for “April Fool’s Day News” which I normally use on April 1st. I thought it was appropriate here. This parody weaves in some real facts, but none of the quotations are real. 500 trivia points to you if you recognized the name James Kelloway!
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.