(CNN)- The Rolling Stones have received just about every earthly honor in their legendary career, and now they are making rock history on Mars.
NASA has named a rock there after the band. It’s the size of a golf ball and was photographed by the InSight lander.
Actor Robert Downey Jr. announced the honor Thursday night before the band’s concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The stadium is about three miles from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which runs the Mars InSight mission.
The most ambitious crossover announcement in space?@NASAInSight just named “@RollingStones Rock” on Mars in honor of the band. Watch @RobertDowneyJr announce the @NASA news live on stage at the Rose Bowl ahead of tonight’s concert. https://t.co/868Gbervw1 #MarsRocks pic.twitter.com/xETMzS0H9y— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 23, 2019
“NASA has given us something we’ve always dreamed of, our own rock on Mars,” singer Mick Jagger told the crowd. “I can’t believe it. I want to put it, bring it back and put it on our mantelpiece.
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You’re probably wondering why this has happened.
When the InSight lander touched down on the Red Planet on November 26, 2018, its thrusters blew the rock about 3 feet — making it a rolling stone in the most literal sense.
NEWS FLASH ⚡️It’s a gas, gas, gas— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 23, 2019
Tonight, @NASAInSight named “@RollingStones Rock” after the band, who is playing a show at @RoseBowlStadium near our lab. This Mars rock rolled farther than any @NASA‘s seen while landing on another planet. https://t.co/868Gbervw1#MarsRocks pic.twitter.com/9rsITo6fyV
It’s the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll during a landing on another planet, the space agency said in a news release.
NASA says the new name isn’t official because the International Astronomical Union is in charge of assigning the scientific names of places and objects in the solar system, such as planets, asteroids and locations on other worlds.
NASA scientists frequently give nicknames to rocks and geographical features to help tell them apart.
“So while the name Rolling Stones Rock is informal, it will appear on working maps of the Red Planet,” the NASA statement said.
NASA’s InSight lander is studying the deep interior of Mars, seismic activity, and the frequency of meteor strikes. It also provides a daily weather report.