News - New Horizons

Brian May celebrates the whole 12-year journey of the New Horizons space probe with his first new solo single in over two decades...

"Limitless Wonders
In A Never-Ending Sky
We May Never Reach Them
That’s Why We Have To Try"

New Horizons is Brian’s personal tribute to the on-going NASA New Horizons mission, which on New Years Day 2019 will achieve the most distant spacecraft flyby in history, in an encounter with a remote Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) named Ultima Thule, far out beyond Pluto on the edges of the solar system.

May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics, and is a New Horizons science collaborator, was there at the New Horizons Maryland, Washington County, base of operations on New Year’s Day to witness the historic final approach as it happened.

Brian was also present back in 2015 for New Horizon’s triumphal Pluto flyby and delivered the world’s first stereoscopic image of Pluto from the ground-breaking data that the NH probe delivered. His New Horizons track (the Ultima Thule mix which you can hear below) includes a message from Stephen Hawking congratulating the team on their successful rendezvous with Pluto three years ago. In a broader sense, the song is an anthem to Mankind’s spirit of exploration, reaching ever further out into the Universe.

Says Brian: “This project has energised me in a new way. For me, it’s been an exciting challenge to bring two sides of my life together - Astronomy and Music. It was Alan Stern, the Project Instigator of this amazing NASA Mission, who threw down the glove last May. He asked if I could come up with a theme for Ultima Thule which could be played as the NH probe reached this new destination. I was inspired by the idea that this is the furthest that the Hand of Man has ever reached – it will be by far the most distant object we have ever seen at close quarters, through the images which the spacecraft will beam back to Earth. To me, it epitomises the human spirit’s unceasing desire to understand the Universe we inhabit. Everyone who has devoted so much energy to this mission since its launch in January 2006 will be feeling they are actually INSIDE that small but intrepid vehicle - only about the size of a grand piano - as it pulls off another spectacular close encounter. And through the vehicle’s ‘eyes’ we will begin to learn, for the very first time, what a Kuiper Belt Object is made of. And pick up precious clues about how our solar system was born.”

“New Horizons”
Written & composed by: Brian May and Don Black
Featuring Stephen Hawking, with kind permission of the Estate of Stephen Hawking
Drums: John Miceli
Produced by Brian May
Co-produced and engineered by Justin Shirley-Smith and Kris Fredriksson
Recorded and mixed at Allerton Hill Studios, England
Additional engineering by John Miceli
P. 2019 Duck Productions Ltd

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