Space agency names Mars rock after Rolling Stones — NASA InSight

Space agency names Mars rock after Rolling Stones — NASA InSight

The Rolling Stones Rock, which is a little larger than the size of a golf ball, was seen to have rolled for about 3 feet (1 meter) back on November 26 past year due to NASA InSight's thrusters when it was touching down on the surface of the neighbouring planet. But now their influence has gone into space after NASA's Mars InSight Mission named a rock on the planet after the band.

The Rolling Stones perform at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on August 22, 2019.

"Cross pollinating science and a legendary rock band is always a good thing", said actor Robert Downey Junior, known for playing Iron Man in the Avengers series, when he made the announcement on 22 August.

But, one stone rolled further than the rest - furthest that NASA has seen any rock roll while landing their spacecraft on another planet.

"Rolling Stones Rock", about the size of a golf ball, was disturbed by thrusters during the touchdown of NASA's Mars InSight Lander past year.

Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, agreed.

"NASA is building a football stadium on Mars and hosting the Rose Bowl with the Stones performing the halftime show!" one person wrote.

"The name Rolling Stones Rock is a ideal fit", she said in a written statement. "I can't believe it", Mick Jagger told the crowd.

You don't need a guitar or a microphone or be a rockstar, though: Jet Propulsion Laboratory geologist Matt Golombek has helped NASA land all of its Red Planet missions since 1997.

Nasa is honouring the Rolling Stones by naming a rock on Mars after the band. Though the nickname is "informal", NASA officials say "it will appear on working maps of the Red Planet".

"I've seen a lot of Mars rocks over my career", he said.

The Rolling Stones and NASA logos were shown side by side in the run-up to the show as the sun set over the Rose Bowl, leaving many fans perplexed as to what the connection was before it was announced. "This one probably won't be in a lot of scientific papers, but it's definitely one of the coolest".

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