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Web Exclusive: Music On Mars

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(CNN/NASA /GETTY) - If there were Martians on Mars, would they be Black Eyed Peas fans?
Let's hope so, because the hip-hop group's front man Will.I.Am just broadcast a song from the surface of the Red Planet.  It's just another way Curiosity keeps breaking technological barriers from Mars.

For four minutes and 24 seconds, the Curiosity Rover, NASA's most advanced and expensive mars mission ever, was a radio station. Never before has music been broadcast from another planet back to earth.

"Reaching For The Stars" by Will.I.Am, the first song to make an interplanetary debut, meant to inspire students to take a greater interest in the space program.

"They said, 'We have a rocket going to Mars,' and I said, 'You ever thought about putting a song on the rocket so when it lands it comes back to earth?  That's never happened before.'"


Curiosity cleared its throat a day earlier, sending a message from NASA administrator Charlie Bolden.

"This is an extraordinary achievement. Landing a rover on Mars is not easy. Others have tried, only America has fully succeeded." "And with that, we have the first human voice from another planet."

Well, sort of. the message was recorded on earth and sent as a data file on board curiosity.

"With this we have another small step being taken extending the human presence beyond earth."


Curiosity continues to send back striking images from the martian surface, the most recent is this panorama picture of Mount Sharp. Scientists believe it could hold a history of the planet, potentially signs of life, comparing it to the Grand Canyon. And while Mount Sharp is just ten kilometers away, it could take the rover two years to get there.


"It would take the rover, even if we were driving flat out, 100 days to get there, and we're not going to drive flat our because we have science to do as well."


And that science is being sent back at a record rate by connecting with one of two American satellites in orbit. In less than a month Curiosity has sent back more data than all previous rovers combined. And soon we may even know what Mars smells like, curiosity will take a good sniff, looking for methane in the martian atmosphere.

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