Rockers Blur are set to spend Christmas Day (25DEC03) in an observatory waiting for contact from Mars.

The THINK TANK group plan to ditch the traditional turkey lunch in favour of the JODRELL BANK OBSERVATORY in Cheshire, North England while they wait for probe BEAGLE 2 to land on the planet on the festive day.

Blur became involved with the space mission to find out if life exists on Mars in 1999, and the first sound to be transmitted back to Earth will be Blur's song, which is also called Beagle 2.

Drummer DAVE ROWNTREE says, "Alex James and I have always been fascinated by space exploration.

"They'd been going around banging their heads against a brick wall trying to get the funding. That's where we came in. Because we had access to the media we were able to help out.

"When the probe lands it has to send a signal back to say it's landed, and that signal could be anything. And we said why not write a piece of music?

"This might actually answer the question, 'Is there life on Mars?'"

18/12/2003 17:14