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NASA Curiosity rover: Will.i.am track 'Reach for the Stars' is first song ever broadcast from Mars

By PA and Adam Sherwin

The latest song from the Black Eyed Peas singer Will.i.am is the first to be broadcast from another planet.

The Nasa rover Curiosity beamed to Earth the singer's new song, Reach For The Stars, to the delight of students who gathered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to listen.

The song had been uploaded to the rover, which landed near the equator of Mars, and played it back - a journey of some 700 million miles.

The four minutes and 24 second song was beamed back to earth from the $2.5 billion rover, at 7pm BST last night.

The musician, who promotes science and mathematics education, was among more than a dozen celebrities invited to JPL to watch Curiosity's landing earlier this month. Others included Wil Wheaton, Seth Green and Morgan Freeman.

The song is "a new composition about the singer's passion for science, technology and space exploration", written when Curiosity began its journey to Mars.

The lyrics to the song include: "Why do they say the sky is the limit, When I've seen them footprints on the moon. I know that Mars might be far but baby it ain't really that far."

"My song is finally going to be beamed back to earth,” tweeted the musician. He added that he felt “blessed” to have recorded the “first song ever to be sent from another planet.”

During the event, Will.i.am's i.am angel Foundation and Discovery Education announced a $10m classroom education initiative that will reach 25 million students annually, including 'many from underserved communities'.

In 2003, Blur recorded a musical call-sign for the Beagle 2 lander which was supposed to search for signs of life on Mars. However all contact with the vehicle was lost after it separated from its mother ship.

In 2008 Nasa beamed the Beatles' Across The Universe into the cosmos to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the song.

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