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