Hymn to Apollo

Episode Air Date: July 4, 2019
Artist: The Palestrina Choir
Recording Title: Hymn to Apollo

You’re listening to the Palestrina Choir on a Victor 78 from 1927

And, you’re on the Sound Beat!

The choir is singing the Hymn to Apollo, one of the Homeric hymns: a collection of thirty-three anonymous ancient Greek hymns celebrating individual gods. It’s thought to have been written in 522 BC. Apollo is the son of Zeus, God of the Sun and light. His name was selected for NASA’s third spaceflight program by then manager Abe Silverstein because “Apollo riding his chariot across the Sun was appropriate to the grand scale of the proposed program.”

Grand scale indeed, incorporating President John Kennedy’s stated goal of “”landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth”. And though he would never see it, six Apollo missions would land astronauts on the Moon, with twelve men walking on the lunar surface. And every one of them returning home safely.

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