NASA, the Rolling Stones and Robert Downey, Jr. Will Reveal Something Space-y Tonight. What IS It?

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NASA, the Rolling Stones and Iron Man himself — actor Robert Downey Jr. — are sitting on space-y secret, and it sounds like they'll unveil it at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, tonight (Aug. 22). 

In a series of tweets, Downey Jr. and his partners in space crime have been teasing some big reveal during the Rolling Stones' concert at the Rose Bowl

"I am bubbling with anticipation," Downey Jr. said in the Twitter video message. "I have inside me a riddle ... What do the Rolling Stones, NASA and the Rose Bowl AND the ruling planet of my birth sign all have in common?"

Let's stop right there, because two things are clear. One: Downey Jr.'s birthday is April 4, so he's an Aries (the Ram) on the zodiac. That sign's "ruling planet" is Mars. Two: The actor tagged NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is also located in Pasadena and just so happens to be home to NASA's Mars 2020 rover, Curiosity rover and the InSight Mars lander — along with a whole lot of other space exploration stuff. 

So, it's probably about Mars. But wait, there's more. 

The Rolling Stones have chimed in.

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"Maybe we'll see you tonight then ...?" the band wrote in a Twitter response to Downey Jr.  

Not much to go on there, I admit. What about the folks at JPL?

"Can't get no satisfaction till you know what this is all about? Stay tuned!" JPL officials wrote on Twitter

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Okay, maybe that's not as helpful as I hoped. 


We don't know. I called NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. And I wrote to their Mars public affairs officer Andrew Good, and still, mum's the word. 

But we can bet on two things. 

1) It's going to be about space. 

2) All will be revealed tonight. (Downey, Jr. literally said "All will be revealed" in his message.)

In case you're wondering, the Rolling Stones' "No Filter" concert at the Rose Bowl begins at 7:30 p.m. PDT (1030 EDT/0230 GMT) tonight. So we'll have to wait until then. 

"This might be the most exciting thing I've ever done," Downey, Jr. said in his message. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.