On November 26, 2018, the NASA spacecraft, InSight, landed on Mars to study the deep interior of the red planet. Driven by the thrusters of the spacecraft, a rock slightly larger than a golf ball would have rolled about a meter. In the images taken by InSight the next day, it is possible to observe the traces left on the red-orange terrain by the Martian rock. Traces that represent the longest path of a rock observed by NASA at the time of landing with a spacecraft on another planet. The rolling stone was then named after the famous rock band "Rolling Stones".
Share scientific discoveries with a "varied audience"
"The name Rolling Stones Rock is perfect," said Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division in Washington. "Part of NASA's mission is to share our work with a diverse audience.When we learned that the Stones were in Pasadena (where NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is located), honoring them seemed like a fun way to build relationships with fans around the world. " A tribute that the Rolling Stones particularly appreciated. "What a wonderful way to celebrate the Stones No Filter Tour in Pasadena, this is a very important milestone in our long, eventful history, and a big thank you to all NASA members for have achieved, "commented the group.
Actor Robert Downey Jr. announced the new Thursday at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, before the iconic band came on stage. Behind the scenes before making this announcement, he said that "cross-pollination between science and a legendary rock band is always a good thing".
An unofficial name
NASA scientists have already given several unofficial nicknames to rocks and other geological events. In this way, it is easier for them to discuss different objects and to make references in scientific articles. Thus, the name Rolling Stones Rock will appear on the functional maps of the red planet. The official scientific names of the places and objects of the solar system can nevertheless only be designated by the International Astronomical Union.