Aug. 23 (UPI) -- In perhaps one of the most unexpected crossover events in NASA history, the U.S. space agency named a tumbling Mars rock after British rock 'n' roll band the Rolling Stones.
Astronomers spotted the mobile rock -- about the size of a golf ball -- when NASA's InSight robotic lander touched down on Mars in November. The force of the lander's thrusters caused the rock to roll about 3 feet away.
"NASA has given us something we have always dreamed of, our very own rock on Mars," Jagger told the crowd. "I can't believe it. I want to bring it back and put it on our mantelpiece."
InSight is short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. The entirety of the craft's mission will take place on Elysium Planitia, the broad equatorial plain where the lander touched down.
The InSight Mars Lander is designed to drill into Mars' interior. It traveled 300 million miles over six months to reach the planet.
This isn't the lander's only link to rock music. A phrase referencing the band Green Day -- "Green Day Since 1986" -- was etched onto a chip on InSight.