Rollin’ Rock: NASA Names Mobile Mars Rock After the Rolling Stones During Concert at Rose Bowl in Pasadena

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As the Rolling Stones returned to Pasadena's Rose Bowl for the first time in 25 years Sunday, NASA announced it has named a traveling rock on the Martian surface after the iconic rock band.

The Rolling Stones perform at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Aug. 22, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)
The Rolling Stones perform at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Aug. 22, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

"Rolling Stones Rock," about the size of a golf ball, was disturbed by thrusters during the touchdown of NASA's Mars InSight Lander last year.

In tribute to the rock stars, the honor seemed appropriate, according Lori Glaze, who directs NASA's Planetary Science Division in Washington.

"The name Rolling Stones Rock is a perfect fit," she said in a written statement. "Part of NASA's charter is to share our work with different audiences. When we found out the Stone would be in Pasadena, honoring them seemed like a fun way to reach fans all over the world."

A rock that was pushed along the Martian surface by NASA's Mars Insight Lander had been christened, "Rolling Stones Rock," the agency announced during a Rolling Stones Concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, which is also home to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on Aug. 22, 2019. (Credit: NASA)
A rock that was pushed along the Martian surface by NASA's Mars Insight Lander had been christened, "Rolling Stones Rock," the agency announced during a Rolling Stones Concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, which is also home to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on Aug. 22, 2019. (Credit: NASA)

The InSight Lander is managed out of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

Actor Robert Downey Jr. made the announcement before a sell-out crown of Rolling Stones fans.

JPL Geologist Matt Golombek has spent years studying extraterrestrial stones.

"I've seen a lot of Mars rocks over my career," he said. "This one probably won't be in a lot of scientific papers, but it's definitely one of the coolest."

The Rolling Stones brought their "No Filter" tour to the Rose Bowl Thursday in the band's first performance at the venue in 25 years.

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