Climbing The Martian Charts 

Coming in both the first and last place on Mars’ Billboard charts this week, it’s Will.I.Am’s new single, “Reach for the Stars”. Yes, the musician’s song became the first to ever be played on another planet, after being played out through speakers found on the Curiosity rover.

While interesting, this is somewhat less inspiring than the rover’s landing. It’s also interesting to see that the rover apparently has a speaker, though it has no microphone. If a microphone wouldn’t provide anything interesting, what possible purpose (besides this dubious one) could speakers serve?

Update (August 2, 2022): While writing this piece, I determined that back in 2012, I’d misunderstood this story. Curiosity didn’t play the song locally on Mars, as it does not in fact have a speaker at all. Instead, it beamed it back to Earth, broadcasting it. That strikes me as significantly less cool.