Aretha Louise Franklin, known the world over as “The Queen Of Soul” was paid the ultimate tribute by re-naming Asteroid #249516 after her. The legendary singer died on Thursday, August 16, 2018 in her Detroit home after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
She was born in Memphis, TN in 1942. She was surrounded by many close friends and family in her last moments. She was known for her hits “Respect “, “Chain of Fools” and “Think”, and was one of the most celebrated American musicians, garnering respect from artists around the world.
During her career spanning more than five decades, she has had more than 100 singles on the US Billboard charts, has won 18 Grammy Awards and starred in the hit musical movie “The Blue Brothers”. She was raised in the Baptist Church and supported Martin Luther King and the entire Civil Rights Movement. She was given many Honorary Degrees and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
The U.S. space agency says the asteroid will “keep orbiting beyond Mars” forever. It was first detected in 2001 and was designated as an asteroid in February 2010 by the asteroid hunting NEOWISE project. It measures just under three miles across and it orbits between Mars and Jupiter. It takes about five-and-a-half years to make a single trip around the sun and will fly through the deep dark depths of space forever, or at least as long as the sun shines.
NASA also paid tribute to Franklin from the moon. The space agency’s official lunar account expressed its condolences for the singer, writing: “Rock Steady Aretha. From your steady rock out in space”. For those with telescopes, Asteroid Aretha will next approach Earth on the night of September 2, 2035, followed by another on April 21, 2046.