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Thursday, July 30, 2020 5:00pm ET by  
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Gregory Porter performs at launch of NASA's historic Mars 2020 mission

Grammy-winning Gregory Porter gave a stellar send-off to NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover today, singing ‘America The Beautiful’ just before the historic launch.

Performing from his home in California, Porter was part of the exhilarating live broadcast which was watched by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe (re-watch below).

To coincide with the momentous performance, Porter is releasing ‘America The Beautiful’ as a standalone single on all digital platforms tomorrow on July 31 (available here).

Porter is the first recording artist ever to be invited by NASA to perform for a Mars mission launch. His new single ‘Concorde’ – an upbeat, soulful ode to flight – is accompanied by a music video inspired by space travel. Porter appears as an astronaut, starring alongside his son, Demyan. The track is taken from his forthcoming album, All Rise (watch the ‘Concorde’ video below).

Porter said: "It is a privilege to be part of this special moment in space history.

"Even though I am at home, I feel connected with everyone around the world, watching this great rocket lift-off. It has been a joy to work with NASA and sing for this extraordinary Mars mission launch."

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. Grammy Award-winning Gregory Porter 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 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.

Listen & stream Gregory Porter here.

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