Listen to Brian May’s New Single, ‘New Horizons’
The track, his first solo release since 1998's Another World, made its debut on NASA's television channel a few minutes after midnight Eastern time. It was co-written with Don Black and features a recording of Stephen Hawking. May, who has also worked on the New Horizons project as an astrophysicist, was on-hand at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., and the song was sent to the probe.
A half-hour after the song's release, New Horizons flew past Ultima Thule, an object in the Kuiper Belt beyond the orbit of Neptune 4.1 billion miles from Earth that is believed to contain information about the birth of the solar system. It's the furthest any spacecraft has ever traveled, and pictures are expected later today.
"To me, it is the incredible newness of it," May said from the lab. "This is going way beyond where anyone has gone before, literally."
"To me," he said previously. "It epitomizes 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.”