Why Music Matters: Astronaut Dr. Stan Love’s Playlist for Space Travel

Astronaut Stan Love is out of this world. He’s got it covered from space walks, to robot arm operations, to making sure the heat shield is just right for re-entry. In this segment of Why Music Matters, Dr. Love shares a story about music and space travel. Far out!

Listen now:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Dr. Love is such a fan of music that he created this own Playlist for Space Travel:

Song Artist Album
Bike Ride To The Moon The Dukes Of Stratosphear Chips From The Chocolate Fireball
The Moon Looks Nice From Here Popinjays Flying Down To Mono Valley
Subterranean Homesick Alien Radiohead  OK Computer
Space Oddity  David Bowie Best of Bowie
Under The Milky Way  The Church Starfish
Stars   Hum  You’d Prefer an Astronaut
Cosmic Thing The B-52’s Cosmic Thing
Stargazer   Siouxsie & The Banshees The Rapture
Destination Moon They Might Be Giants John Henry
NASA Clapping Robyn Hitchcock  Jewels For Sophia
Jetson’s Theme Man Or Astro-man? Intravenous Television Continuum
Apollo 9 Adam Ant   The Essential Adam Ant
Riding on the Rocket Shonen Knife Riding on the Rocket (Promo)
Rocket From A Bottle XTC Black Sea
Speed is the Key Sugarcubes Here Today, Tomorrow Next Week!
High Roller The Crystal Method Vegas
Learning to Fly Pink Floyd  A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Earth, Sun, Moon Love & Rockets Earth Sun  Moon
Zero Gravity The Transmissionary Six KEXP Song of the Day
Hello Earth  Kate Bush Hounds Of Love
My Eyes Laurie Anderson Strange Angels
Man On The Moon R.E.M. Automatic For The People
Walking On the Moon The Police Regatta de Blanc
Earth And Sun And Moon Midnight Oil Earth And Sun And Moon
Man On The Moon Sugar Copper Blue
Humans From Earth T-Bone Burnett Until The End Of The World Soundtrack
Rocket Man Elton John Elton John: Greatest Hits

For more on some of Stan’s favorites, check out our KEXP documentary on David Bowie and Brian Eno.

You can also read more about Dr. Stan Love on his official NASA biography. Sigh, he’s so dreamy!

Music used in this piece: “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” by Steely Dan, “Hello Earth” by Kate Bush, “Riding on a Rocket” by Shonen Knife.

If you like this, check out more stories coming soon in the Why Music Matters story series.

Produced by Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, 2010 AIR Live Interactive Resident. Editorial oversight by Kevin Cole. Engineering help from Matt Ogaz. Live Interactive is a collaboration of KEXP and AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio with financial support from AIR members worldwide, Recovery.gov, and the National Endowment for the Arts which believe a great nation deserves great art.

This entry was posted in KEXP, Why Music Matters. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. ZR
    Posted December 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    That was such a fun piece! Great work, Anna, and keep em’ coming.

  2. Posted December 7, 2010 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Video – Ed Lu plays “Moonlight Sonata” on the International Space Station

    Story – everyone who’s ever played music in outerspace

  3. Sara G.W.
    Posted December 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I still get googly when I remember Dr. Love’s awesome visit to the station – he made us all feel like we went on the shuttle with him, and it was super cool!

  4. loyal kexp
    Posted December 8, 2010 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    not gonna lie, I’ve heard about this astronaut and how he is a kexp fan before.

    you all play him up in your pledge drives (which you should, not many stations can say their CDs go to space!).

    But I also wonder if your new production series should cover stuff we haven’t heard in the kexp world. Push us forward in “why music matters”. Go to rehearsals in peoples’ basements, get those verite moments on a walk in a park or something. laying some old dude’s story over david bowie can be done by a lot of people. I’m a little disappointed.

  5. Posted December 8, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Hi Loyal KEXP,
    This is just the first story. There are plenty of verite moments coming up which feature music in an operating room, in sacred scriptures of Yoruba religion, late at night under the covers of a tortured teenager, and even in Iran.
    I hope you’ll keep listening this and next month.

  6. Jeremy
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    I love space travel, I love mix tapes and I love this story!

  7. Erik Ebert
    Posted September 24, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    What?!? No Phenomenauts?!?


  8. Aaron Jones
    Posted September 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Excellent playlist! So many of my personal favorites are there. Now whenever I hear them, I will imagine myself listening while in space. That’s some good “old guy” music.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Donate Now!

Donate to KEXP Today!

Donate to KEXP Today!
where the music matters

The KEXP Blog

Sponsored By
Become a KEXP Sponsor!
  • KEXP Post Categories