Nepal finally has a landmark named after it in the solar system for the first time. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) named Pluto’s icy mountains, which were discovered on Wednesday (July 15, 2015), after the legendary mountaineer Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. And the country’s mountaineering fraternity has expressed happiness over the news as reported by The Himalayan Times.
Upon the revelation of details about NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, the scientists announced on Friday that they were naming the mountainous region as Norgay Montes (Norgay Mountains) in honour of Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who first successfully summited Mt Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953.
NASA’s honour has brought great joy to the family members of Tenzing Norgay in Nepal. Speaking to the national daily, Tashi Tenzing, the grandson of Tenzing Norgay said,“It’s a great honour for Nepal and the Sherpas.” Tashi, who is also the country’s tourism goodwill ambassador for Australia, further added that NASA’s move naming the first extraterrestrial landscape after Norgay will certainly play a crucial role in promoting Nepal’s tourism across the globe.
The NASA team also released a flyby animation of the mountain range, which is made of ice, and a peek at a set of frozen plains located to the north, which have been dubbed Sputnik Planum after the original space explorer: Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite above Earth, the PBS reported. Some of these mountains in the Norgay Montes are said to be up to two miles high, as tall as those in the Rocky Mountains.