Montreal scientist and musician Tim Blais is celebrating the upcoming New Horizons flyby of Pluto with an a capella cover Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars that breaks down the entire mission.
Blais posted the video on YouTube on Sunday. Like his previous musical astronomy videos, it's a video mosaic showing him performing all of the song's tracks — the vocals, beat-boxing and every bit of the big brass sound from the original song.
His latest comes as the New Horizons probe makes its approach on Pluto, beaming back the most detailed images yet taken of the dwarf planet.
"I got the idea for the song two weeks ago while attending the Convergence conference at Waterloo's Perimeter Institute," Blais said in an email.
"I'd been wanting to do a New Horizons video, and also an Uptown Funk cover, and suddenly just the words 'gonna visit Pluto' popped into my head and I knew I could make it work," he said.
The second verse of Outbound Probe breaks down the individual instruments carried on the New Horizons spacecraft, with names like SWAP, PEPSSI, LORRI and Venetia.
Since graduating with a master's degree from McGill two years ago, Blais has been producing science music videos full time. He says he's supported by "by ad revenues, mp3 and poster sales, and fan support" through Patreon.
Blais's video has been getting thousands of views thanks to links from his alma mater and Germany's Max Planck Society.