Music for Mars – Gregory Porter to perform as Perseverance rover sets off for the Red Planet

Gregory Porter on the set of his music video Concorde. (Photo: Victoria Porter)
Gregory Porter on the set of his music video Concorde. (Photo: Victoria Porter)
  • NASA will be sending the Perseverance rover to Mars on 30 July. 
  • As part of the launch event Gregory Porter will perform the song, America The Beautiful. 
  • Gregory is the first recording artist ever to be invited by NASA to perform for a Mars mission launch.

NASA on Thursday announced that Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Gregory Porter will perform for the launch of its historic Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission.

According to the statement Gregory will perform a special rendition of America The Beautiful from his home in California, as part of the live coverage of the launch which is scheduled to take place on 30 July.

This is the first time ever NASA has invited a recording artist to perform for a Mars mission launch.

The announcement coincides with the release of the singer’s new single Concorde – an upbeat, soulful ode to flight.

It is accompanied by a space-themed music video which sees Porter, dressed as an astronaut, starring alongside his son, Demyan.

The track is taken from his forthcoming album All Rise, which will be released on 28  August.

"I feel honoured to be invited by NASA to perform before this historic launch. I have always been inspired by space exploration ever since I was a boy, and it continues to fill me with awe when I look to the sky at night," he said.

Adding: "It is wonderful to be part of this spectacular event and share in a collective moment of inter-planetary adventure with millions around the world."

Paul Wizikowski, Executive Producer of NASA’s launch broadcast, commented: “The launch of the Mars Perseverance rover from America’s shore to the Jezero crater on Mars is a milestone in humanity’s history.

“The fact that this flight must be completed in a moment of America’s story that calls for the very best in us to persevere, we felt it fitting to signal this send-off with a focus on what makes America beautiful. Gregory was asked to sing America The Beautiful to remind us that from the fruited plains to the shining seas we are in this grand story together.”

NASA’s Perseverance Rover is slated to launch to the Red Planet on 30 July from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It’s scheduled to land on Mars on 18 February 2021.

The rover is designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life. The mission will collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth in the future.

It will also record the first ever audio from the planet and test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration to Mars. Full mission coverage will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website, as well as numerous other platforms.  

The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. (Image: NASA/JPL
The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Compiled by Herman Eloff.