Music Lifts NASA Administrator's Spirits

Nov 15, 2013
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for the regular feature we call In Your Ear. That's where some of our guests fill us in on some of the music they've been listening to. It's not rocket science. Oh, wait. Actually, it is. Today, we're hearing from NASA administrator Charles Bolden Jr. Before he headed the space agency, Bolden was an astronaut. He told us about some of the songs that lift his spirits.

CHARLES BOLDEN: Hi, I'm Charlie Bolden and what's playing in my ear is "I Hope You Dance."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I HOPE YOU DANCE")

BOLDEN: The reason I like "I Hope You Dance" is because I have three beautiful granddaughters. And the song is actually about a mother talking to her daughter about trying for great things in life. You know, it kind of goes - when times get hard, I hope you'll dance.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I HOPE YOU DANCE")

BOLDEN: I love "Reach for the Stars" by Will.i.am.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REACH FOR THE STARS")

BOLDEN: And that is actually the first song played from Mars back to Earth from aboard the Curiosity Rover.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REACH FOR THE STARS")

BOLDEN: Will.i.am composed it himself and brought together about a hundred kids from around the world to sing it. And it's awesome.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REACH FOR THE STARS")

BOLDEN: The last song playing in my ear is the "Hallelujah Chorus."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HALLELUJAH CHORUS")

BOLDEN: It comes from Handel's "Messiah." And the "Messiah" is essentially the Bible put to music, or the life of Jesus Christ put to music, anyway. And I like it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HALLELUJAH CHORUS")

MARTIN: That was NASA administrator Charles Bolden telling us about the very eclectic selection playing in his ear. To hear his or other interviews from our program, go to NPR.org/tellmemore.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HALLELUJAH CHORUS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.