Tributes to the legendary Aretha Franklin, who touched millions of lives as the Queen of Soul, keep pouring in. The music icon, who passed away on Thursday (Aug. 19), has now been honored by NASA.
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The federal agency took to Twitter and referenced an asteroid that it named after the singer, who died at the age of 76 in Detroit last week after struggling with advanced pancreatic cancer. Officials showed their R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Franklin.
“We’re saddened by the loss of Aretha Franklin,” a tweet from NASA’s official account said. “Asteroid 249516 Aretha, found by our NEOWISE mission and named after the singer to commemorate the #QueenOfSoul, will keep orbiting beyond Mars.”
The asteroid was first found in 2001 and was classified as an asteroid by the NEOWISE project in February 2010, according to NASA. The space matter, measuring just under three miles across and orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, was named after Franklin in 2014.
Officials predict that 249516 Aretha will likely orbit around the sun for eternity, as long as it doesn’t crash into other space matter. Its orbit time to make one trip around the sun is about five-and-a-half years, according to The Atlantic.
The official NASA Moon Twitter account also featured a tribute to Franklin.
“We’re sad to hear about the #QueenofSoul passing,” the tweet said. “Rock steady Aretha. From your steady rock out in space.”
A funeral for Franklin will take place on Aug. 31 in Detroit, the icon’s publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said, according to CNN. The service will start at 10 a.m. ET at Greater Grace Temple.
Public viewings will be held on Aug. 28 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Franklin will be entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.
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