NASA honors its dead Mars helicopter with a special name from Tolkien's legendarium

NASA has honored its dead Mars helicopter by naming its final resting place after the fictional location in J.R.R Tolkien's epic legendarium.

1 minute & 46 seconds read time

Much like some hobbits and creatures of Middle-Earth, NASA's Mars helicopter has been ordained with a special honor.

NASA honors its dead Mars helicopter with a special name from Tolkien's legendarium 25101

NASA's Mars helicopter named Ingenuity ended its mission after an impressive 72 flights on the surface of the Red Planet, and to celebrate its many achievements while also honoring its success, NASA has decided to nickname its final resting place. The choice of its final resting place is called "Valinor Hills," which is named after the fictional location within J.R.R Tolkien's legendarium that includes "The Lord of the Rings," "The Silmarillion," and more.

For those that don't know, Valinor is a place in Tolkien's epic fantasy that is exclusively returning to their homeland in what could be viewed as Tolkien's version of heaven (even though Tolkien hated allegory). The honor of stepping foot in Valinor was exclusive to elves, with a few exceptions, such as some hobbits and men. The location is briefly mentioned a few times throughout Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Triology, and is specifically mentioned by Gandalf to Pippin before the battle of Minas Tirith.

Valinor or the Undying Lands, is also home to the Valar or the gods of Tolkien's legendarium, and given the location Ingenuity is located in, along with its achievements, the name seems appropriate as the success of the helicopter will go down in history as the first vehicle ever flown on another planet.

"PIPPIN: I didn't think it would end this way.

GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.

PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?

GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

PIPPIN: Well, that isn't so bad.

GANDALF: No. No, it isn't."

Unlike Tolkien's description of Valinor, beautiful rolling green hills combined with endless bliss, Ingenuity is sitting in a baren wasteland that is believed to have once been home to ancient microbial life.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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