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In our talk show ‘The Final Countdown: Flight 251’, the Indian singer/songwriter tells us about how many of her songs are inspired by space, and sang one of her biggest hits.
Singer, composer and lyricist Sona Mohapatra is a huge star in her home country of India, who has lent her voice and songs to many Bollywood films. She also has a degree in electronic engineering and concepts of space are central to her and her art.
You’re a superstar in your home country in India but what people may not know is that you have a degree in science and ever since you were very young, you’ve been fascinated by space. What does this launch (VA251) mean for you?
I think it’s an honor for every Indian, because it’s a feather in the cap of space research across the world. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has always made us proud. For the next 15 years, the GSAT-30 satellite will improve connectivity in our country. It’s a big step forwards for everybody. We’re all very, very proud.
What is your favorite space story?
It always gives me great pleasure to share the story of the American astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch. It’s a great story for equal rights, a flash point for the gender struggle. They performed the first ever all-female spacewalk, in 2019. We’ve come a long way since the first female cosmonaut Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova.
Do you think women will take a greater part in space exploration in the future?
The funniest part of the Meir–Koch episode was that the whole mission got delayed because NASA didn’t have the right size of space suits for women astronauts. So, I think they had better start making more ladies sizes because many more women are going to go into space and I’m looking forward to it!
Tell us why you chose this song to sing after the Ariane launch.
Music surpasses all language barriers. I think the lyrics of this song, “Anhad Naad”, are really moving. There’s a concept in Indian literature and philosophy which says that every living and every non-living being carries a “cosmic vibration” within it. This is a song about that energy which connects us with the cosmos.
How do you explain this kind of energy?
I can’t explain it, I just feel it every time I sing this song. It is a source of creation, sustenance of life and harmony. I like to think that space, unlike the noisy times we live in, invites us to connect with this inner cosmic energy and feel silence.
You can find Sona singing “Anhad Naad” in “The Final Countdown: Flight 251” (2:30:00) on the ArianeGroup Facebook page.