Mars rover Curiosity's landing site will be known from now on as Bradbury Landing in honor of Ray Bradbury, one of the most influential science fiction writers of our time, NASA revealed Wednesday.
The Mars Curiosity landing site, which is situated inside Mars' vast Gale Crater, was renamed "Bradbury Landing" to honor the famed writer's support of Mars exploration and legacy as one of the greatest writers of our time.
Despite the fact that the Mars rover made a safe landing on the surface of Mars on Aug. 5, NASA officials explained that they waited to make the announcement of the name dedication until Aug. 22 in honor of what would have been Bradbury's 92nd birthday. Bradbury died in June at his Los Angeles home.
"Today would have been Ray Bradbury's 92nd birthday, but he's already reached immortality in his short stories and books," Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, said in a statement.
"His books have truly inspired us. His Martian Chronicles has inspired our curiosity," he added.
His first book, The Martian Chronicles, used a series of short stories about the human exploration and colonization of Mars after Earth was destroyed in nuclear war. The book was published in 1950 and later made into a television series and video game.
He became one of a handful of authors who helped bring the science fiction genre into the realm of literature. He wrote more than 27 books, including "Fahrenheit 451" and "The Illustrated Man."
"Since sending the first rover to Mars in 1997, NASA has made it a tradition to name its landing sites after visionaries and explorers who devoted their lives to expanding our boundaries," Robert Pearlman, editor of the space history website SPACE.com said.
The Curiosity mission is already a success after it sent pictures back from the surface of Mars and even recently included pictures of its first test drive on Mars.