They got a message for the action man

I had a hard time getting up this morning—maybe I could get some help from English schoolkids. As part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s celebration of National Science and Engineering Week, students from three Manchester-area schools, St. Paul’s (Walkden), St. Barnabas (Clayton), and Wyche Primary (Nantwich), composed wake-up music for the residents of the International Space Station, with some help from the members of the Manchester Camerata: “The musicians… worked with the children composing new music for the wake-up calls based on astrophysical data, such as the radio waves emitted by celestial bodies, and visual images of space.” (They also had an Internet improv session with astrophysicist/rock musician Fiorella Terenzi.)

The three entries were judged by Russian rocket scientist Alexander Martynov and legendary cosmonaut Alexander Volkov, with the Camerata recording the winner for future early-morning duty (though this news report was coy as to who that winner actually was.) In the words of MMU Science Week organizer Conway Mothbi, “The call will be heard 250 miles above the earth by Expedition 14 cosmonauts under conditions of weightlessness. This is a great honour as it is a UK first.”

Update (3/21): Wyche Primary took the prize (see comments). I’ll make sure to provide a link as soon as the recordings are posted.

One comment

  1. Thanks for the post about our fab project! The winner was Wyche Primary School from Nantwich, You should be able to hear the three wake up calls on our education page( very soon, as well as download teachers’ packs for our projects on Music and Maths and Music and Biology. If any teachers do use them with their classes we’d love to see your photo’s/videos/ hear the music, and we might even put it on our website. Email them to

Leave a Reply