R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe recorded this greeting for the four person crew of the Atlantis, NASA's final space shuttle mission. The message was received by the astronauts yesterday, and starts off with a brief a cappella performance of the band's 1992 hit "Man on the Moon." The song is obviously very appropriate for the occasion, but beyond that, Stipe's location for the call was also quite fitting. "I recorded "Man on The Moon" for NASA in Venice, Italy, where Galileo first presented to the Venetian government his eight-power telescope, and in 1610 wrote "The Starry Messenger (Sidereus Nuncius)", an account of his early astronomical discoveries that altered forever our view of our place in the universe," Stipe said in a statement.
- Michael Stipe