NASA names an outer space rock after the Rolling Stones

space 26/08/2019

NASA has given The Rolling Stones a galactic honour after they named a rock on Mars after them.

NASA named a golf ball-sized boulder that was seen rolling around in the disruption caused by the InSight lander as it was touching down on the planet in November 2018.

"A little larger than a golf ball, the rock appeared to have rolled about 3 feet (1 meter) on Nov. 26, 2018, propelled by InSight's retrorockets as the spacecraft touched down to study the Red Planet's deep interior," NASA said. "In images taken by InSight the next day, several divots in the orange-red soil can be seen trailing 'Rolling Stones Rock.' It's the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet."

The name was unveiled by actor Robert Downey Jr. at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, nearby the InSight mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Downey concludes with "Cross-pollinating science and a legendary rock band is always a good thing," before The Rolling Stones dive straight into their performance.

"The name Rolling Stones Rock is a perfect fit," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, agreed. "Part of NASA's charter is to share our work with different audiences. When we found out the Stones would be in Pasadena, honouring them seemed like a fun way to reach fans all over the world."

Watch the announcement below.