The greatest rock band in history now have a pretty special rock dedicated in their honor.
NASA has opted to name a stone on the Martian surface after the Rolling Stones. The announcement was made by actor Robert Downey Jr. on Thursday night during the legendary band’s concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The 54-year-old Avengers star explained that the rock in question, about the size of a small golf ball, first caught the attention of scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory after it was disrupted on the soil by the Mars InSight probe when it landed last November.
“In a fit of fandom and clever association, they put forth, ‘Why don’t we name it, Rolling Stones Rock?’” Downey Jr. added from the stage.
On top of its memorable moniker, the stone actually has a place in the history books. According to a press release, Rolling Stone Rock’s three-foot tumble is “the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet.” Though the nickname is “informal,” NASA officials say “it will appear on working maps of the Red Planet.”
A video released by the JPL, fittingly set to the Stones’ 1974 hit “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” dramatically illustrates the stone’s trajectory.
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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
The Earthbound Rolling Stones responded to the honor warmly. “What a wonderful way to celebrate the ‘Stones No Filter’ tour arriving in Pasadena,” they said in a statement. “This is definitely a milestone in our long and eventful history. A huge thank you to everyone at NASA for making it happen.”