(Phys.org) The world's paramount astronomical authority on Tuesday slapped down a bid to hawk the names of Mars' craters, saying the Red Planet's monickers are not up for sale.
"Such initiatives go against the spirit of free and equal access to space, as well as against internationally recognised standards," the Paris-based International Astronomical Union (IAU) said in a press release.
"Hence no purchased names can ever be used on official maps and globes."
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IAU spokesman Lars Lindberg Christensen told AFP the move came after US crowdsourcing website Uwingu (www.uwingu.com) said the public could name craters on its map of Mars for a fee.