A small rock discovered by NASA on the surface of Mars is named after the band Rolling Stones.
“NASA has given us something we have always dreamed of, our very own rock on Mars. I can’t believe it,” Mick Jagger announced the news on Thursday during a performance at the Rose Bowl. ″I want to bring it back and put it on our mantelpiece.”
Hello “@RollingStones Rock” Who could hang a name on you? Um… us!
When @NASAInsight touched down on the Red Planet, its engines sent a rock rolling across Mars’ surface. We named it for the band. Take a closer look and learn how #MarsRocks get named: https://t.co/xY0TfoksJP pic.twitter.com/BZlABAMaZJ
— NASA (@NASA) August 23, 2019
Before the band’s performance in Southern California the actor Robert Downey Jr. had the honor to announce the news from the scientists of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“Charlie, Ronnie, Keith and Mick — they were in no way opposed to the notion,” Downey said.
“But in typical egalitarian fashion, they suggested I assist in procuring 60,000 votes to make it official, so that’s my mission,” Downey went on, asking the audience to say “aye” to confirm the new name of “Rolling Stones Rock.”
The most ambitious crossover announcement in space?@NASAInSight just named “@RollingStones Rock” on Mars in honor of the band. Watch @RobertDowneyJr announce the @NASA news live on stage at the Rose Bowl ahead of tonight’s concert. https://t.co/868Gbervw1 #MarsRocks pic.twitter.com/xETMzS0H9y
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 23, 2019
The rock, was spotted by NASA’s InSight robotic lander in November, The Associated Press reported.
It only moved about 3 feet — but that was the farthest a rock was seen rolling after one of the agency’s devices landed on another planet.
“I’ve seen a lot of Mars rocks over my career,” Matt Golombek, a JPL geologist who helps NASA land Mars missions, said in a statement to AP. “This one probably won’t be in a lot of scientific papers, but it’s definitely one of the coolest.”
Tonight was out of this world! Thanks for celebrating with us @robertdowneyjr and thank you to all the team at @NASA@NASAJPL @NASAInSight @MarsCuriosity #marsrockspic.twitter.com/UqcCJyT0w2
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) August 23, 2019
The Martian rock, as with the rest of the planet, has gathered no moss.