But it turns out, that history-making shuttle flight Ken “Played by Gary Sinise” Mattingly (’58) and Henry Hartsfield (’54) made in 1982 was even more Auburny than we thought.
Not only were they “War Eagle’d” just before lift off and “Sons of Auburn’ed” upon reentry… not only did their payload included a fancy copy of The Auburn Creed and maybe even some Auburn jerseys, their alarm clock was set to AUBURN SPIRIT!
From NASA’s catalog of shuttle flight wake up calls:
6/29/1982: “Hold That Tiger” by Auburn University Band.
Mattingly responded: “Good afternoon, we love that tune.’’ He added, “Found out something up here though, you can’t stomp your feet to it.”
Both astronauts are graduates of Auburn University.
If it was the version of “Tiger Rag (Hold That Tiger)” that was included on the “Sounds of Auburn” LP released in the mid 80s, it probably woke up everyone in the galaxy. (Can’t see the video? Try here.)
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More Tales of Auburn in Space:
* Auburn grad in line for Apollo 11 flight wanted ‘War Eagle’ to be first words spoken on the moon
* AU Student Built Satellite Signals Life with coded ‘War Eagle’
* Loveliest Space Station Orbiting The Plains
* Interstellar Auburn pennant
* The Auburn Creed in Space