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When They Build the ATA
lyrics Copyright © 2007 by H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D.
sung to the tune of Rolling Down On Old Maui (traditional)

It's a damned hard life full of toil and strife
SETI scientists must endure.
For all we do, we are subject to
Public ridicule, that's for sure.
Still I'd not complain, if we could gain
Our very own SETI array.
So I'm proud to say that the ATA
Will be ours 24 a day.


When they build the ATA, my lads,
When they build the ATA,
We'll do the search for life beyond earth
From the mighty ATA.

Well the ATA is on its way,
Built from hundreds if satellite dishes.
Not a Cyclops, yet it's a certain bet
It would satisfy Barney's wishes.
Jack Welch decrees wideband LNBs
Cryo-cooled to eighty K.
So it would seem we'll achieve our dream
Of a full time SETI array.


The Allen Telescope Array
Is a very high cost pursuit.
Can the SETI Institute fund it all
And not become destitute?
I can now report there's been great support
From Myhrvold and Allen as well.
Other donors may sign on any day,
But only time will tell.


The engineers knew just what to do,
Took a tip from the radio hams.
Technology that is almost free
Is sufficient to scan the bands.
Still I must confess that there might be less
Signal strength than we can see.
So I suppose the array just grows
'Til we finally find ET.


At array's first light, the other night,
Many dishes were brought online.
Fiber optics to a great CPU,
And the image converged just fine.
The design is sound. They are gaining ground
Even though it's going slow.
Just look around. It's forty two down,
And three hundred eight to go.

Final Chorus:

As they build the ATA, my lads,
As they build the ATA,
We've begun the search for life beyond earth
From the Allen dish array.

Performed by Dr. SETI ® on the CD "Sing More Songs of SETI" Sing More Songs of SETI CD

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