Rapper will.i.am. will achieve a hip hop first tomorrow: The 37-year-old rapper will be debuting his new single “Reach for the Stars” through the speakers of the rover Curiosity, which currently sits on the surface of Mars.
The song will be played for students at a listening party tomorrow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, according to a report on Contactmusic.com. The event is being hosted by officials from NASA.
Will.i.am. was there at Cape Canaveral, Florida, right alongside NASA employees when the rover made its initial landing on Mars. The Black Eyed Peas star tweeted on the occasion:
“We did it!!! We landed on mars… we did humans… humans landed curiosity on mars.”
The initiative is part of a partnership between NASA and the rapper’s i.am.angel foundation, which looks to fund education and learning opportunities among young people in need.
When Curiosity landed on the surface of Mars two weeks ago on August 6, a sense of elation filled the corridors of NASA, as agency officials felt that the successful event would turn the public’s perception of NASA as an agency whose glory days were in the past.
“If anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of U.S. leadership in space,” John P. Holdren, the president’s science adviser, said at a news conference following the landing, “well, there’s a one-ton, automobile-size piece of American ingenuity, and it’s sitting on the surface of Mars right now.”
Only the Soviet Union had successfully landed anything on Mars, and that spacecraft, Mars 3 in 1971, fell silent shortly after landing.
The Curiosity, much larger than earlier rovers, is considered the most sophisticated movable laboratory that has ever been sent to another planet, according to the New York Times. Curiosity’s journey from earth took eight-and-a-half months. The rover will spend at least two years examining rocks within the 96-mile crater where it landed, looking for carbon-based molecules and other evidence that early Mars had conditions friendly for life—or that life still exists there now.