A tune from Britpop veterans Blur will be among the first earth sounds Martians will hear when interplanetary probe BEAGLE 2 touches down on Mars at Christmas (03).

Beagle 2 will announce its arrival by playing nine digitised notes of BLUR B-side Beagle 2, which was originally released in 1999.

The group pitched the song to the space exploration project.

Drummer DAVE ROWNTREE says, "We thought, 'We could play the first gig on Mars!'"

05/06/2003 21:21