British rock band Queen’s guitarist Brian May ushered in the new year with his first solo in more than two decades – a tribute to the NASA New Horizons mission to fly past the most distant object from earth explored by humans so far.

May’s single was released during the first few minutes of 2019 at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, and features his signature riffs. He not only has a doctorate in astrophysics but is also a New Horizons science collaborator and was asked to write a song to coincide with the flyby.

“I’ve always wanted to do space stuff ever since I was a kid, and obviously music has always been a huge part of my life, May said, according to Forbes. “So, this was an opportunity to, in a sense, join the two and make something unusual out of it.

The song also includes a message from Stephen Hawking from three years ago, when he congratulated the New Horizons probe team for the successful Pluto flyby.