(Coming on forty-five minute point in our countdown Everything going smoothly T-minus 45 minutes and counting Coming up on t-minus 40 minutes T-minus 40 minutes and counting This is shuttle launch control)
Lit up with anticipation We arrive at the launching site The sky is still dark, nearing dawn On the Florida coastline
Circling choppers slash the night With roving searchlight beams This magic day when super-science Mingles with the bright stuff of dreams
(We had a AEO abort, go for test Tester says they are go for launch At the present time we know of no major problems As we enter final hold)
Floodlit in the hazy distance The star of this unearthly show Venting vapors, like the breath Of a sleeping white dragon
Crackling speakers, voices tense Resume the final count All systems check, T-minus-nine As the sun and the drama start to mount
The air is charged, a humid, motionless mass The crowds and the cameras The cars full of spectators pass Excitement so thick, you could cut it with a knife Technology high, on the leading edge of life
(T-minus twenty-seven seconds We applaud for redundant sequencers start T-minus twenty seconds and counting T-minus fifteen, fourteen, thirteen Minus ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four We have locked the main engine start, we have)
The earth beneath us starts to tremble With the spreading of a low black cloud A thunderous roar shakes the air Like the whole world exploding
Scorching blast of golden fire As it slowly leaves the ground It tears away with a mighty force The air is shattered by that awesome sound
(T-plus thirty seconds, plus thirty-five Columbia, Houston you are go at forty)
Excitement so thick, you could cut it with a knife Technology high, on the leading edge of life Like a pillar of cloud, the smoke lingers high in the air In fascination with the eyes of the world we stare
(Columbia is now turning towards Precise window in space for main engine cutoff One, two minute and forty seconds Columbia now thirty-nine nautical miles altitude Forty-two nautical miles downrange Columbia you're looking a little hot And all your calls will be a little early Young and Crippen really moving out now Velocity now reading just sixty-two hundred feet per second What a view, what a view Glad you are enjoying it G800 to LOS Columbia Houston, ah we have forty seconds to LOS You're looking good burning over the hill We'll see you in Madrid And we enjoyed the music Bob, thank you Ah, we enjoyed, we just wanted to share some with you
Writer/s: Alex Zivojinovich, Gary Lee Weinrib, Neil Elwood Peart
Publisher: OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
Mark from Syracuse,nyApril 2, 1982 Syracuse Carrier Dome ... My first Rush show. John Butcher Axis opened for them. I was on the floor in like the third section back. Not great visibility for a 13 year old kid of average height.. I was so amazed with the sound. When they played "Countdown" it was so amazing with the back projector of the space shuttle with Young and Crippen being launched in to space. As that ship took off I struggled to hear the song because the audience irrupted in to loud cheering as the shuttle left the ground. It was deafening. I saw a few in the audience with tears in their eyes. So powerful. Music and imagery. I get chills thinking about it to this day. I saw them numerous times since and never took a Rush show for granted.
Alejandro Obregon from México CityThis song makes me remember when i was studying engineering, i dreamed about being an astronaut, one of my favorite songs ever, thank you Rush for the inspiration.
Gabe From Chicago from Chicago, IlI think the argument could be made that "Passage to Bangkok" is, pretty much about drugs. The point about Rush's lyrics remains however. Good list.
Rob from Los Osos, Cathe Shuttle was actually launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It landed at Edwards AFB in California
Dougee from San Bernardino, CaWhen I was a teenager one of my biggest dreams was to witness a Shuttle launch. Now, almost 30 years later, I haven't yet (live on the opposite coast, darn it) but this song's vivid imagery makes me feel almost like I was an eyewitness. "This day when super science mingles with the bright stuff of dreams..."
John from Asheville, NcI think the song's dated, but that's just what happens when you document "a moment." However, I think the band definitely made sure the song was atmospheric...and the NASA dialogue is a strong part of this experience. As a song it's just ok....as a project and an historical reflection it's pretty special. I like it more than most fans I know...LOL.
Warner from Stanley, KsSo what was the music that was played for the astronauts that is referred to in this song?
Don from Franklin, MaThis song is always tinged with a little sadness for me, because its the Columbia, and I still remember quite clearly that sad morning when I woke my wife up saying 'the Columbia has burned up in reentry.' Obviously not the same crew, but its still somewhat haunting to hear the chatter between the Columbia and Houston.
Brad from Chicago, IlDescribes perfectly the experience of being close-up and at hand of THE first "space shuttle" launch. "Lit up with anticipation the star of this unearthly show, venting vapours like the breath of a sleeping white dragon"...HOLY CRAP!!!! What a word-smith!!!
Jesse from L.a., Ca Geddy's keyboard part in this song is terrific! Love this song. It gives me chills.
Dave from Cardiff, WalesOriginally a No.41 hit in the UK in September 1982 as a double A-Side with the live version of "New World Man", the single was re-issued and peaked at No. 36 in April 1983, becoming Rush' fifth and last UK Top 40 hit.
Patrick from Boston, MaThis song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. What a fantastic tribute to this achievment.