Geek Trivia

What Tune Was Used For The First Space To Mission Control Wakeup Call?

Come Fly With Me
Going Back To Houston
Morning Has Broken
On Top Of The World
Which Comic Strip Was Never Intended To Be Funny?
Album cover of the Frank Sinatra album Come Fly with Me
Capitol Records

Answer: Come Fly With Me

NASA has a long-standing tradition of waking up astronaut crews with a musical wake up call broadcast from Mission Control in Houston, Texas. The tradition started with the Gemini program—the first program to feature extended orbital stays—and continues to this day with astronauts aboard the International Space Station receiving a daily wake up call.

Every once in a while, a space-bound crew turns the tables and instead broadcasts a wake up call for Mission Control instead of waiting for Mission Control to broadcast to them. The first time this role reversal occurred was on May 25, 1969 when the crew of Apollo 10, having awoken ahead of their wake up call, beamed Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me down to Earth. After sending the song, astronaut Eugene Cernan started the following exchange with Jack Lousma at Ground Control:

Apollo 10/Cernan: Good morning, good morning! This is Tom, John, and Gene from KAT 10, broadcasting again from approximately 140,000 miles [259,280 km] out into the universe. It’s a beautiful day out here, and it appears that it might be a beautiful day down in Mother Earth country. For those of you who are not just ready for work or are just getting up: Get up lazy bones! It’s time you got up! Big day ahead! And the thought for today is: Remember, National Secretary’s Week was last month!

Ground Control/Lousma: Good morning, Apollo 10. You managed to wake everybody up early down here, and thank you for your brief program. And, we’ll be giving your advice due consideration down here. And we’ve got a little bit of music for you.

Apollo 10/Cernan: Wonderful, Jack. Let’s hear it.

Ground Control/Lousma: [plays music Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah]

If you’re a fan of space exploration history, you can check out the entire transcript for that portion of Day 7 of the mission here.