New Song by wil.i.am Beamed from Space!
By: Andi Grill
When Black Eyed Peas rapper-songwriter will.i.am debuted "Reach for the Stars" back in August, not just in the U.S. or worldwide, but from Mars, there was no doubt that he made history. But this isn’t the first time that NASA has experimented with the sound of music in outer space. What may have first been perceived as an unlikely partnership between music and alien probing has actually been part of a few NASA projects — some carried out in hopes that someday, an intelligent life-form out there might take pleasure in our artistic creations.
Check out this video of the SCIENCE special i.am.mars for a preview of the special:
Do the words Voyager Golden Records sound at all familiar? When NASA was preparing to launch two Voyager probes into outer space back in 1977, the team made sure the "interstellar ambassadors" had all their essentials — images of Earth, natural sounds from all kinds of animals, a message from President Jimmy Carter and of course, some tunes. Among the songs included in the playlist were Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (classic!), Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" and Louis Armstrong's "Melancholy Blues." Though it may be tens of thousands of years before an extraterrestrial might walk upon our space probes, it’s comforting to know that there is that possibility.
NASA's next musical gift to outer space was in 2008, in commemoration of The Beatles. On Feb. 4, "Across the Universe" was beamed directly into deep space to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the day the song was recorded. What better way to honor such an occasion than to send the song traveling 186,000 miles per second. And if ET happened to hear it, it'd be honored to be The Beatles’ first extraterrestrial fan.
Now, will.i.am’s mix of classical music, orchestra, hip hop and children’s choir – all conveniently packed into one powerful song meant to convey the rapper’s passion for science and technology – has joined the list and has made history as being the first song to be broadcast from 700 million miles away. While Curiosity does the probing, will.i.am provided the theme song to this year's greatest astronomical achievement. It’s dramatic, to say the least.