Brian May is seeing in 2019 by unveiling his new single at NASA’s headquarters. The Queen guitarist, 71, is releasing New Horizons, his first solo work in over two decades, as a “tribute” to the spacecraft of the same name.
The single, being released digitally, will air for the first time at NASA, in Maryland in the US, on New Year’s Day.
Spacecraft New Horizons is on course for a flyby of the Ultima Thule object on January 1, when it is expected to break its own record for humanity’s most distant tour of a cosmic object.
May, who has a doctorate in astrophysics, said: “This project has energised me in a new way.
“For me it’s been an exciting challenge to bring two sides of my life together, astronomy and music.
“It was Alan Stern, the project instigator of this amazing NASA mission, who threw down the glove last May.
“He asked if I could come up with a theme for Ultima Thule which could be played as the New Horizons probe reached this new destination.
“I was inspired by the idea that this is the furthest that the hand of man has ever reached, it will be by far the most distant object we have ever seen at close quarters, through the images which the space craft will beam back to Earth.
“To me it epitomises the human spirit’s unceasing desire to understand the universe we inhabit.”
The song will be May’s first official solo single since 1998’s Why Don’t We Try Again. The star has been releasing clips of the track on Instagram and Twitter.