NASA’s InSight rolls rocks on the Red Planet. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Could this be the first stroke in a game of interplanetary golf? The rock shown here was driven about one metre (3ft) by the booster wash of NASA’s InSight lander as it touched down on the surface of Mars.


It’s may not be the longest drive in golfing history but it’s the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll as a result of a craft landing on another planet.

The stone is around 5.5cm (2.2in) in diameter – about the size of a golf ball – and you can see the path it took in the trail left behind in the Martian dust.

Although it’s not been officially designated by the International Astronomical Union yet, the rock has been nicknamed the 'Rolling Stones Rock'.

Image stats

Camera: Instrument Deployment Camera, NASA InSight

Capture date: 26 November 2018


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Before going freelance, Rob spent almost four years on staff at BBC Science Focus magazine subediting news, features and reviews. He's now a freelance journalist and has written about everything from electric cars to decomposing bodies… although space and speed are what fascinate him most.