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Rush - Visit To Nasa

On April 12, 1981 "Rush" Band members made a historic visit to Cape Canaveral - the Kennedy Space Center in Florida USA.


Which of the band's two songs was influenced by this visit, and what is the Israeli connection? you will soon find out.


On April 12, 1981, the three members of "Rush" arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida.


They were special guests of NASA - the US space agency, during the launch of the first space shuttle ever - "Columbia", on mission STS-1.



During their visit, they were given a tour of the space center, after which they were taken to a special area called "Red Sector A", from where all the special guests watched the launch of the spacecraft.


This visit and the launch of the first spacecraft, led Neil Peart to write the lyrics to the song Countdown, which appeared as the last song of the 1982 album "Signals".


The communication sounds heard in the song are recordings from the space shuttle's communication system, between astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen, and to the ground control center. The band also dedicated the song to the two astronauts and all NASA personnel for the inspiration they gave them during the visit.


It should be noted that the song "Countdown" also served as the astronauts' alarm clock during the penultimate mission of the Columbia shuttle - mission STS-109 from 2002.


As we all know, the same - "Columbia", on which the song was written, crashed about a year later on February 1, 2003, during mission STS-107, in which the first Israeli astronaut - Ilan Ramon was also a crew member, and here the Israeli connection to the story.


By the way, astronaut Mike Fincke also chose the song "Countdown" to be played during his last mission before retirement - mission STS-134 of the Andover spacecraft.

Rush members were so fascinated by the visit to NASA that they decided to include a special thank you to the staff members who accompanied them on the liner notes of the album "Exit ... Stage Left", as follows:

"To the people of NASA for the spectacular launch of Colombia which we were privileged and thrilled to witness"

As you may recall, the live album "Exit... Stage Left" was released about a year before the album "Signals" which included the song.


The second song influenced by Rush's visit, to the Cape Canaveral Space Center, was of course "Red Sector A", which got its name from the same VIP area from which the band members watched the historic launch.


The theme of the song is of course not about the same launch and it was influenced by the story of Geddy Lee's parents, both Holocaust survivors, who survived the Bergen-Belsen and Dachau concentration camps. This song is of course included on the "Grace Under Pressure" album which was released on the exact day of the historical "Rush" visit in the year 1984.


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