The New Horizons team has been naming all of the new features they discovered on Pluto's moon Charon, and they're struggling to please both sides of sci-fi fandom.
NASA has gotten itself into quite a pickle. They have inadvertently set the stage for a brutal debate between “Star Wars” fans and “Star Trek” fans over the names of various craters on Pluto’s moon Charon.
According to Discovery News, New Horizons’ photos taken during its recent flyby this June has presented space fans with some new features to name.
Newly released maps generated by the New Horizons crew now plot the location of the Vader Crater, in addition to other impact features named after Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. Not to be outdone, the maps also include the James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Sulu, and Uhura craters, named after the captain and crew of the starship Enterprise from the original “Star Trek” series.
New Horizons revealed a stunningly diverse surface geography as it flew by both Pluto and its largest moon Charon. The sci-fi tribute doesn’t end with “Star Wars” and “Star Trek,” however; celebrated authors Arthur C. Clarke and Octavia Butler each have a crater named after them.
Craters on Pluto are named after more realistic things, like actual explorers and astronomers. Some regions on Pluto are named after other space missions, like NASA’s Viking, Pioneer, and Voyager, and the Soviet Union’s Venera program that studied Venus.
The New Horizons team chose most of the names with some help from the public. It’s no wonder they received responses from both “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” fans, and we can only wait and see which crater becomes a public favorite.