GLAST Prelude

Celebrating the launch and science of the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope

Launched June 11, 2008 from the Kennedy Space Center

Music composed by Nolan Gasser; performed by the American Brass Quintet
Video by Rich Melnick, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

(Click the image to start the video)
Music copyright © 2008 Nolan Gasser.
Permission is granted to reproduce this unaltered video for non-commercial use. All other rights reserved.

WMV Download: Small version (22.4 MB) | Large version (271 MB) || Video also available on YouTube
GLAST Prelude Synopsis
  1. An opening "fanfare" celebrating, in general terms, the overall mission of GLAST.
  2. The preparation for launch, as GLAST is readied upon the Delta II Heavy rocket, and countdown is begun on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.
  3. An interruption — in the midst of the countdown — as if entering a "dream sequence" (in media res) in order to answer the question "How did we get here?" before launch can proceed.
  4. A GLAST Dream Sequence — in 5 Parts
    1. A Brief History of Astronomy — one that permits the eventual launch of GLAST: from an early Geo-centric orientation through the Copernican and Galilean revolutions, and on through the later advancements in science, astronomy, and physics that leads us to the present day.
    2. A Brief Tour of the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum — a temporal, pitch, and intensity progression from the lowest (radio) through the highest (gamma ray) parts of the EM spectrum — culminating in an actual gamma-ray burst.
    3. A GLAST Interlude — a musical "portrait" of GLAST, conducting its mission in the beauty of its earthly orbit — which then leads to:
    4. The Instruments: a musical "depiction" of the two instruments aboard GLAST, the LAT (Large Area Telescope) and the GBM (Gamma Burst Monitor) and a bit of the science involved therein.
    5. A Celebration of the Multi-National Cooperation of GLAST — a musical acknowledgement of six nations involved in bringing GLAST to life: the US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Sweden.
  5. A return to the launch pad, and a resumption of the countdown.
  6. Lift-off and the ascent of GLAST aboard the Delta II — through the atmosphere and its push into orbit, the opening of its solar panels, and the beginning of its work as NASA’s latest space telescope.

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