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Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am's song makes history on Mars

August 30, 2012 |  3:34 am

For will.i.am, what started as a fascination with space turned into a history-making song that was transmitted earlier this week from the Mars rover Curiosity.

In the Google+ Hangout above, Times Science Writer Amina Khan discussed how will.i.am came to write the song and how NASA came to use the music as part of the Mars mission.

“There’s no words to explain how amazing this is,” the singer, of Black Eyed Peas fame, said to the gathered audience, standing on stage with NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, the agency’s associate administrator for education.

PANORAMA: Tire tracks on Mars | PHOTOS: Color images from Mars

The song, called “Reach for the Stars,” was beamed back to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, where will.i.am took the stage to answer questions from students from Boyle Heights, where he grew up.

The song features a 40-piece orchestra and isn’t your standard urban hip-hop anthem, the singer pointed out, because it’s meant to weather the test of time and be easily translated across cultures. 

“I know that Mars might be far, but baby it ain’t really that far / Let’s reach for the stars (reach for the stars),” will.i.am sings on the track.

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