And an hour after liftoff, MTV News spoke to frontman Jared Leto from Cape Canaveral, Florida, where he was still trying to wrap his head around everything that had happened. And, for a guy who's witnessed no shortage of amazing things with his Mars mates, well, that's saying something indeed.
"It was a phenomenal morning; it's been a mind-blowing experience, sending our music up into space, where it's pushing into orbit and going around the earth, that's a pretty amazing thing to think about," Leto said. "It seemed impossible; for a moment I played with the idea of a weather balloon, but I had been speaking with NASA for quite some time about ways to find something creative to do together. And I presented them with this idea and here we are."
Leto said the process of getting a copy of the single aboard the SpaceX cargo capsule began months ago — "It wasn't easy," he laughed, "but most worthy things aren't." — and that the decision to launch it into orbit had nothing to do with the song's title. Instead, he and his bandmates were looking to kick off the next chapter of their career in an appropriately massive manner.
"From the beginning, it was clear this was a special song for us. I wrote and recorded about 70 songs for this album, and I think there's a feeling that all of us in the band have that, especially after touring as long as we did last time, that this is a really important album for us ... and 'Up in the Air' is the first step, the beginning of a conversation," he said. "It's a song that has a lot of energy, a lot of optimism, a lot of life in it. And it's incredibly important to me and Shannon and Tomo.
"A core part of what Thirty Seconds To Mars is about is dreams ... creativity and dreams are one in the same," he continued. "And so it's inspiring and challenging to try to make the impossible into reality. And this has certainly been an example of that; putting your music into space is no easy feat."
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