Some day a long time from now, an astronaut tour guide may step out onto the dusty surface of the Red Planet, point to a small stone just beyond NASA's silent InSight lander and announce, "And that, my friends, is Rolling Stones Rock."
Let's just let that sink in. There is now a rock on Mars that's known as "Rolling Stones Rock."
The Stones took to the stage in Pasedena, California on Thursday night for the band's No Filter tour. The Rose Bowl venue is close to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Somehow Robert Downey Jr. got entangled in all of this. The Iron Man actor made the Mars rock announcement before the band played.
It all started with a mysteriousearlier on Thursday. "This may be the most exciting thing I've ever done," Downey said, which may be the overstatement of the year.
It's not just any old Mars rock. NASA's InSight lander touched down on the planet in November 2018. The machine's thrusters disturbed the golf ball-sized rock, sending it rolling 3 feet (1 meter) across the ground.
"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.
"I've seen a lot of Mars rocks over my career," said NASA geologist Matt Golombek. "This one probably won't be in a lot of scientific papers, but it's definitely one of the coolest."
Downey agrees. "Sometimes the world does seriously cool stuff," he tweeted after the reveal.
NASA shared a hype video showing an animation of InSight landing on Mars set to the tune of the Stones' It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It).
The Rolling Stones Rock name is informal, but NASA says it will appear on working maps of the planet.
Perhaps this will inspire Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to rework some of their classic songs, like If You Can't Mars Rock Me, Street Fighting Martian or Paint It Red (Planet).