The Rolling Stones were given a beyond-this-world honor when NASA named a rock on Mars after the band.

They decided to bestow the title "Rolling Stones Rock" on a golf ball-sized boulder that was seen moving around in the disruption caused by the space agency’s InSight lander as it touched down on the red planet last November.

“In images taken by InSight the next day, several divots in the orange-red soil can be seen trailing Rolling Stone Rock,” NASA said in a statement. “It’s the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet.”

Actor Robert Downey Jr. announced the naming last night at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena – near InSight mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – just before Mick Jagger and band began their performance. “Cross-pollinating science and a legendary rock band is always a good thing,” Downey observed.

Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, agreed. “The name Rolling Stones Rock is a perfect fit," she said. "Part of NASA’s charter is to share our work with different audiences. When we found out the Stones would be in Pasadena, honoring them seemed like a fun way to reach fans all over the world.”

“This is definitely a milestone in our long and eventful history,” the Stones said in their own statement. “A huge thank you to everyone at NASA for making it happen.”

You can watch Downey’s announcement below.


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