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NASA gets a boost -- from rap!

June 25, 2009 16:19 IST

When Buzz Aldrin became the second man to walk on the moon, he was literally out of this world.

Now he's left the galaxy!

The 79-year-old Aldrin recently teamed up with hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg to record a rap single, called Rocket Experience, to commemorate 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing next month.

Aldrin, whose rapper name is Doc Rendezvous, hooked up with Snoop Dogg, producer Quincy Jones and rappers Talib Kweli and Soulja Boy for the project, which was conceived to increase interest with the youth in NASA's space exploration programmes.

The song, which also has an accompanying video featuring Aldrin bobbing his head and grooving to the beat, contains lines like: "I'm the spaceman, I'm the rocket man, it's time to venture far, let's take a trip to Mars, our destiny is to the stars."

Snoop Dogg speaks in the background, adding, "That's hot right there, man. That's gangsta."

The video was on the Funny or Die web site and is joined by a second behind-the-scenes video, which witness Aldrin and the rappers giving the low-down on the Rocket Experience project. "I have only two passions: space exploration and hip-hop," Aldrin jokes in the second video.

The first video flips between shots of the white-haired Aldrin rapping and archived footage of the Apollo 11 launch, his and partner Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon and recordings of crackly radio exchanges between the astronauts and mission control.

'Young people have lost any interest in space that isn't in a video game or a movie house. Many don't really know that Man has stood on the Moon,' Aldrin said in a recent interview. 'But these incredible rappers speak to the new generations and know how to reach them. The Americans who will take Man to Mars are already born and they don't even know that space is Man's fate.'

Proceeds from the song and video sales will reportedly go to Aldrin's non-profit foundation, ShareSpace, which supports space education and advocacy programmes carried out by the National Space Society, the Planetary Society and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Neil Armstrong, Aldrin's partner and the first man on the Moon, famously uttered 'That's one small step for (a) man, and one giant leap for mankind' as he first touched the moon's surface on June 21, 1969. Although Armstrong has kept a low profile since he and Aldrin shared the first moon walk, Buzz has remained in the public eye.

In 2002 he made headlines when he punched a heckler in the jaw for accusing him of faking the Moon landing.

Image: Former US astronaut Buzz Aldrin and rapper Snoop Dog | Photographs: Reuters