NASA named the Mars rover's landing site after famed Black sci-fi author

NASA’s name for the Mars location where the newly arrived Perseverance rover touched down is the “Octavia E. Butler Landing.”

The technically informal moniker comes from the Perseverance mission team’s scientists, who named the site after the acclaimed author of multiple Hugo- and Nebula-winning sci-fi stories. Butler rose to prominence during the ’80s, nabbing prestigious awards for her short fiction, notably the novelette Bloodchild. But it was her two-part series from the late ’90s — Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents — that cemented her status as one of the greats.

Butler was also the recipient of the McArthur Genius Grant in 1995, becoming the first science fiction author to receive that prestigious distinction. Sadly, she isn’t around to appreciate this latest honor from NASA. Butler died in 2006 at the age of 58. Read more…

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