Dr Manish Patel in the recording studio.

Ground control to Major Manish. OU academic to record single for space mission

There has been Band Aid, USA for Africa and Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band. But today a new name is being added to the list of legendary charity single artists.

Manish Patel, Senior Lecturer in Space Science at The Open University, is putting aside his academic research and picking up the microphone to record his own version of David Bowie’s Life on Mars. Money raised from the single will fund an OU space mission to Mars, with Manish himself landing on the Red Planet and performing a live rendition of the track to any extra-terrestrial life listening.

Life on Mars was the song that inspired Manish’s love of space and fuelled his curiosity about the planet. "I was busy working in my lab happily singing away to myself,” he said.

My colleague turned to me and said that my voice was out of this world. That was the moment the penny dropped. I realised I should use my gift to make the dream of visiting Mars a reality.

Manish is also recording a follow up cover of the Carpenter’s Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft that will be released on 1 April 2017.


You can find out more about studying planetary science and check out some free learning resources on OpenLearn.