NASA Names Unique Martian Stone For The Rolling Stones
|The Huffington Post 23 Aug 2019 at 12:25|
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) â€” There is now a â€śRolling Stones Rockâ€ť on Mars, and itâ€™s giving Mick, Keith and the boys some serious satisfaction.
NASA named a little stone for the legendary rockers after its InSight robotic lander captured it rolling across the surface of Mars last year, and the new moniker was made public at Thursday nightâ€™s Rolling Stonesâ€™ concert at the Rose Bowl.
â€śNASA has given us something we have always dreamed of, our very own rock on Mars. I canâ€™t believe it,â€ť Mick Jagger told the crowd after grooving through a rendition of â€śTumbling Dice.â€ť â€łI want to bring it back and put it on our mantelpiece.â€ť
Robert Downey Jr. announced the name, taking the stage just before the bandâ€™s set at the Southern California stadium that is just a stoneâ€™s throw from NASAâ€™s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages InSight.
â€śCross-pollinating science and a legendary rock band is always a good thing,â€ť the â€śIron Manâ€ť actor said backstage.
He told the crowd that JPL scientists had come up with the name â€śin a fit of fandom and clever association.â€ť
â€śCharlie, Ronnie, Keith and Mick â€” they were in no way opposed to the notion,â€ť Downey said, â€śbut in typical egalitarian fashion, they suggested I assist in procuring 60,000 votes to make it official, so thatâ€™s my mission.â€ť
He led the audience in a shout of â€śayeâ€ť before declaring the deed done.
Jagger later said, â€śI want to say a special thanks to our favorite action man Robert Downey Jr. That was a very nice intro he gave.â€ť
The rock, just a little bigger than a golf ball, was moved by InSightâ€™s own thrusters as the robotic lander touched down on Mars on Nov. 26.
It only moved about 3 feet (0.9 meters), but thatâ€™s the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a craft on another planet.
â€śIâ€™ve seen a lot of Mars rocks over my career,â€ť Matt Golombek, a JPL geologist who has helped NASA land all its Mars missions since 1997, said in a statement. â€śThis one probably wonâ€™t be in a lot of scientific papers, but itâ€™s definitely one of the coolest.â€ť
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.
The concert had originally been scheduled for spring, before the Stones postponed their No Filter North American tour because Jagger had heart surgery.
The 76-year-old showed no signs of poor health or even his age as he danced, pranced and boogied up and down a long catwalk that extended to the middle of the stadiumâ€™s field.
He did poke fun at his advanced years.
â€śItâ€™s great to be back at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena,â€ť Jagger said. â€śAt least I think weâ€™ve been here before.â€ť (They have, in 1994.)
He also said, â€śWe walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard looking for the Rolling Stones star but couldnâ€™t find it.â€ť (The band doesnâ€™t have one.)
And he took a dig at President Donald Trumpâ€™s recent talk of acquiring Greenland when introducing his bandmates.
â€śOn the drums,â€ť Jagger shouted, â€śGreenlandâ€™s new economic adviser, Charlie Watts!â€ť