A K-Pop Group Rockets Into Space — TAN Talks About Sending Music on the Celestis Spaceflight (Exclusive)

TAN's song "Walking on the Moon" will be sent into deep space.

One K-pop group is daring to go where no other has ventured before. Well, at least their music is. South Korean boyband TAN (To All Nations) is about to launch their hit song "Walking on The Moon" into deep space on board Celestis Inc.'s upcoming historic Enterprise Flight, where humanity will launch its first deep-space time capsule. 

With their exceptional talent and charisma, TAN emerged from the MBC survival show Extreme Debut: Wild Idol. They debuted in March of 2022, wowing audiences worldwide with their charismatic style and energizing presence, kicking off their musical journey. With their mission to connect with fans from across the globe, TAN is poised to take the K-pop world by storm. 

PopCulture spoke with the seven talented members — Changsun, Jooan, Jaejun, Sunghyuk, Hyunyeop, Taehoon, and Jiseong — about this monumental event and how this collaboration came about.

When asked why TAN decided to get involved, Taehoon said, "It was such a great opportunity for them to just be part of this mission project. This is just such a big mission overall, with it being a Star Trek reunion and with just so many amazing figures being involved. So, we felt that this was a really great opportunity for not only ourselves but the group as well."

He added, "And the basis of the Celestis mission is generations in the future from now or possible aliens who might find this aircraft or this station. So we hope that, though we might not be there, they will still be able to enjoy the TAN song "Walking on The Moon."

TAN's song will embark on a journey into the far reaches of space that will incorporate the DNA, cremated remains, and MindFiles of 264 individuals, including notable figures such as Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry and wife Majel Barrett Roddenberry, original Star Trek cast members Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, and DeForest Kelley, Apollo astronaut Philip Chapman, and special effects master Douglas Trumbull, among others from across the globe traveling on the aptly titled "Enterprise Flight."

(Photo: ULA)

Celestis, Inc. is the world's first and foremost global provider of Memorial Spaceflight Services. With its initial flight in 1997, the Founders Flight, and 18 additional flights since then, the company has long been recognized as a valuable resource for those seeking to celebrate a life, or the life of a loved one, with a uniquely meaningful memorial experience. Four unique destinations are offered by Celestis missions: suborbital space, Earth's orbit, the Moon's surface, and now – with Enterprise Flight – interplanetary space. 

So, how did the collaboration with TAN come about? According to the president of Celestis, Colby Youngblood, a PR representative knew of the group and brought it to his attention. "And the idea behind TAN is they have their messages of hope, love, and positivity."

"And really, ours is very similar," Youngblood continued. "A lot of the messages that we want to send are very similar to hope, love, and positivity. And really, music is the universal language. And we are sending art from all walks of life. So, we thought that they would be a great addition to the Cosmic Archive."

In the past few years, K-pop has indeed become universal, with fans from all over singing the lyrics to their favorite Korean-language songs. The TAN members indicated that this popularity made it a no-brainer for K-pop to be part of the Enterprise Flight.

"With the love that K-pop has been receiving in the past few years and, even including this year, K-pop is just a genre that we cannot forget about," said Jooan. "We love to be included just as a part of pop culture in general, so definitely, for this mission, it's really important that we have pop K-pop included as well."

Jaejun also added: "Essentially, on this mission, it's not only our song, but actually the DNA of a lot of very famous, important people, as well as a lot of culture-based things like a poem and different types of media that is going up there. So just to be a part of that is just really amazing.

"Just thinking of it as a TAN song that is going to be up there in deep space like that is just such an amazing opportunity — but also, to be amongst these giants is such a fantastic opportunity. Also, we hope that people find our song amazing as well. So we hope everyone will take a listen to it."


United Launch Alliance launch at SLC-41 of AFSPC-11

- Jeff Spotts/ULA)

The United Launch Alliance Vulcan (ULA) rocket is scheduled for launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. It will be used to position a lunar lander on course for its rendezvous with the Moon and continue into a heliocentric orbit around the sun. After the Centaur upper stage has reached this orbit, Enterprise Flight will become Enterprise Station, humankind's furthest outpost where it will journey endlessly, perhaps awaiting discovery by a distant civilization. 

For Youngblood, the significance of this launch, as well as its purpose, cannot be understated. "The idea is for human preservation and to capture a snapshot of our culture at this particular point in our history," Youngblood said. "When we send this out to space. It will be a great snapshot representation of our civilization at this point in time."

For TAN member Sunghyuk, he just hopes that "anybody who listens to the song thinks that TAN have amazing songs, that we're very attractive and good looking, and that we have great music and we're a great group." The launch is planned for Dec. 24 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, aboard the inaugural flight of the ULA Vulcan rocket.