Robert Downey Jr, NASA and Rolling Stones' secret is out: They named a rock on Mars after the iconic band
In the lead up to naming the rock after the band, Downey took to social media to tease the world with riddles involving The Rolling Stones, NASA, the Rose Bowl, and the planet Mars
He may be done playing Iron Man, but Robert Downey Jr. is still very much in love with science and technology. He crashed a Rolling Stones concert in LA to make a very specific announcement— a rock found on the surface of Mars has been officially named in honor of the iconic band.
Termed as the "Rolling Stones Rock", the golf-ball-sized orb rolled about three feet on November 26, 2018, and the movement was captured by NASA's InSight lander. The origin of the rock was explained in-depth by NASA in a tweet that read: "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"
In the lead up to naming the rock after the band, Downey took to social media to tease the world with riddles involving The Rolling Stones, NASA, the Rose Bowl, and the planet Mars. It all started with a mysterious teaser video from Downey earlier on Thursday, August. "This may be the most exciting thing I've ever done," Downey said.
Talking about the rock, "I've seen a lot of Mars rocks over my career," JPL geologist Matt Golombek told NASA. "This one probably won't be in a lot of scientific papers, but it's definitely one of the coolest."
"It's the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet," the space agency said in a release on Thursday. An image of the rock shows the trail it left behind on the dusty ground.
According to Cnet, the Rolling Stones Rock name is informal, but NASA says it will appear on working maps of the planet. "Cross-pollinating science and a legendary rock band is always a good thing..." Downey told NASA's website of the announcement.
The Stones took to the stage in Pasadena, California on Thursday night for the band's 'No Filter' tour. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory helmed the InSight mission and their offices are located up the road from the Rose Bowl, where the Rolling Stones concert was held.