The first Friday of May is National Space Day; this year (2023) that falls on May 5. How convenient that May the 4th Be With You, also known as Star Wars Day, falls within a day or two each year. What a perfect combination for a theme ride! We’ve got multiple bucket playlists and several profiles for you to consider for this fun theme.
First, a little background.
In 1997, the Lockheed Martin Corporation introduced National Space Day as a one-off event, and it was later expanded to International Space Day in 2001, due to its extreme popularity, by former astronaut and senator John Glenn. On the first Friday in May each year, scientists, astronomers, astronauts, science buffs, and more observe National Space Day, celebrating its mysteries and beyond. Need some trivia for your ride? Here are 103 space trivia questions. You can start with the following points of interest.
- The first space day was celebrated as a one-day event in 1997.
- You cannot hear sound in space because of the lack of atmosphere up there.
- One million Earths can fit in one sun, which shows us just how big the sun is.
- Sunsets on Mars are blue.
- Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system with a surface temperature of 450 degrees Celsius.
- One day on Venus is longer than a year on Earth because of its slow axis rotation.
- Saturn is the least dense planet in the solar system.
May the 4th Be With You
Are you a Star Wars nerd, or do you have any in your classes? Test your riders on these trivia questions. (Here are the answers, plus a lot more trivia questions.)
- What is Baby Yoda’s real name?
- Who are Kylo Ren’s parents?
- What is the episode number of the very first Star Wars film?
- What is the name of Han Solo’s ship?
- Luke lost which of his hands in a fight with Darth Vader?
- Who killed Jabba?
- Per Yoda, what is the path to the dark side?
- Who killed Han Solo?
Your space-themed ride can include songs about space, science fiction, planets, the moon, stars, and, of course, the Star Wars theme song. Better yet, how about the “Imperial March”?
Let’s not forget about Star Trek—you don’t want your Trekkies to feel left out!
Make sure to include this Monty Python song, “The Galaxy Song” from the movie The Meaning of Life, as a little lighthearted recovery. Fun fact: the San Jose Astronomical Association determined that the facts stated in the lyrics are largely correct! Here’s an idea—use some of the facts stated in this song as trivia questions.
ICA has numerous profile options for your space theme rides. Try this Bill Pierce profile called “A Journey Through Space.” I created this profile, “The Eagle has Landed,” in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. And this year, we are lucky that the full moon falls on May 5 as well, so a full-moon profile is another great option. You can get some ideas from this lunar eclipse profile called Tears From the Moon (just replace the songs about the eclipse with some from the bucket playlists below).
Below are four bucket playlists to peruse for your outer space theme ride. The Sci-Fi/Outer Space playlist has over 200 songs and the Moon/Earth/Stars/Planets playlist has 220 songs. The second two are much smaller but can add a special touch to your theme. One has songs about aliens (currently with 27 songs), and the second is recently curated playlist with songs that have soundbites from outer space, Mission Control, or rocket launch countdowns (currently with 21 songs). These soundbites will make your ride extra-special. (If you know of any other songs with these kinds of soundbites or songs about aliens, please share them with me so I can continue to grow these playlists.)