The team behind NASA’s InSight lander has informally named a rock on Mars “Rolling Stones Rock” after the band. 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.
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.
Actor Robert Downey Jr. made the announcement Thursday, Aug. 22 at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium before the iconic band took the stage.
Cover image via Robert Downey Jr./Twitter