The Mars Curiosity landing site will now be called Bradbury Landing in honor of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, NASA announced Wednesday.
The naming was part of a NASA briefing about the Curiosity Rover’s progress. Curiosity’s Twitter feed shared the news with a photo, saying: “In tribute, I dedicate my landing spot on Mars to you, Ray Bradbury. Greetings from Bradbury Landing!”
Although Curiosity successfully landed on Mars on Aug. 6, NASA officials waited to announce the name of the site. That’s because Aug. 22 would have been Bradbury’s 92nd birthday. During Wednesday’s briefing, Michael Meyer, NASA’s lead scientists for the Mars Exploration Program said, “In his honor, we declared the place that Curiosity touched down to be forever known as Bradbury Landing,” the Washington Post reports.
One of Bradbury’s most famous works was his collection of linked stories, “The Martian Chronicles.” An imaginative visionary, Bradbury had worked as a consultant with NASA (and also with Disney).
“The Martian Chronicles,” Bradbury’s first book, was published in 1950. He became one of a handful of authors who helped bring the science fiction genre into the realm of literature. He was the author of more than 27 books, including “Fahrenheit 451" and “The Illustrated Man."
Bradbury died at his Los Angeles home in June at age 91.
Curiosity, however, is doing quite well. NASA’s news conference included images of it on its first Martian test drive.