So … Robert Downey Jr. Announced That a Mars Rock Was Named After the Rolling Stones?
It was a big day for fans of confusion! Or, I mean, Robert Downey Jr. After a cryptic message on the actor’s social media, fans were beginning to wonder why he was heading to the Rose Bowl with the Rolling Stones to talk about Mars. It was trippy, fun, and a very Robert Downey Jr. message that sent me into a tailspin for the entire rest of my day.
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) August 22, 2019
So, with all of us (i.e. me) on the edge of our seats trying to figure out what this meant, we all thought that Robert Downey Jr. was planning on taking off to Mars, and honestly, if he went without me, I was going to be a little upset. I’d let him play The Futurist for the entire journey!
But alas, Robert Downey Jr. is not going to Mars. In fact, this announcement was about something that already happened there.
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
At first, when you think about the fact that this suspenseful afternoon was just for a rock being named, it almost seems funny, but then, if you really think about it, it’s kind of cool. Anything happening on Mars is new information to us because we only relatively recently started to venture out to the red planet.
Basically, when NASA’s InSight lander hit the ground on Mars to study the planet’s deep interior, its thrusters caused a rock to roll a considerable distance, and NASA nerds, being nerds like the rest of us, decided that they wanted to name it after the Rolling Stones. And since Robert Downey Jr. is apparently friends with the Stones (literally, childhood me is having a fit), they wanted him to help make it official.
Here’s the thing about this: This is great PR for both NASA and Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition. The actor announced back in June that he had plans to work with scientists to create nanotechnology to help stop climate change and fix the planet—you know, like he’s Tony Stark or something.
So, to me, there’s no better partnership than the Footprint Coalition and NASA working together. Plus, NASA announcing anything using such a high-profile celebrity is a pretty big deal, because public support for NASA’s work is important to actually secure funding to get things done in space.
The video explaining exactly what happened played for the audience after Downey’s announcement, and the actor later shared it to his Instagram page.
Sometimes the world does seriously cool stuff. https://t.co/DjPfBIZkuZ
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) August 23, 2019
Basically, RDJ got to do some cool things with the Stones and NASA, and it completely derailed my Thursday.
Just to top off the day of madness, Tom Holland also decided it was a great time to post this picture of himself and Robert Downey Jr. taking pictures together (using a shoe???) which he titled “We did it, Mr. Stark!” You know, just to take my heart out of my chest and stomp on it a bunch.
View this post on Instagram
I don’t know what’s happening, I wish I did. But I guess an entire concert full of people just officially named a rock on Mars the “Rolling Stones Rock,” and Robert Downey Jr. was there to announce it because he’s basically just Tony Stark now, so I guess that’s all fine and normal.
(image: Marvel Entertainment)
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