Bollywood badshah Shahrukh Khan isn't just a star on earth, he is now a part of a star up in space. In a first for a film star, a New York-based organization called the International Lunar Geographic Society have gone ahead and named a lunar crater 'Shahrukh Khan'.
'Crater SR Khan' is located in the moon's Sea of Tranquillity and is the largest of the four Arago craters, positioned directly South of the main crater. The name was approved by the all powerful International Astronomical Union which handles the nomenclature of all lunar craters. According to the International Lunar Geographic Society, "the crater has been given the honorary designation as the Crater S R Khan on the occasion of Mr Khan's 44th birthday." The society says that there were a large number of petitions in favor of Shahrukh Khan from his die hard fans across the globe, and that they were more than happy to name the crater after the star.
Some of the fans are absolutely besotted by SRK, one of them even bought a piece of land on the Moon and presented it to him. Of course 'SR Khan' is not the only Indian name on the Moon, there are a few craters named after Nobel laureate C V Raman, Vikram Sarabhai who is the father of the Indian space programme , Homi Bhabha the pioneer of the nuclear programme in India, apart from astrophysicist Meghnad Saha (of the famous Saha equation). Shahrukh is no stranger to the space programme. He was invited to NASA's Johnson Space Centre back in 2001 by Eugene Cernan, the last man who visited the Moon. SRK also had a bit of fun with a model of the lunar vehicle at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, where his film 'Swades' was shot.
However, Shahrukh's name on the crater has not made everyone happy. Suresh Naik, the president of the National Space Society condemned the move and called it 'shocking'. Others wanted Amitabh Bachchan's name on the Moon.
Although the majority of the members in the scientific community are in favour of the nomenclature. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, the pioneer of the Indian Moon Mission supported it. Pradeep Mohandas, the Secretary of the Indian chapter of the Moon Society is also with Kasturirangan, "I think it is not a bad idea since it reflects the thinking of the new generation of young Indians," he said. "I do see a rationale behind this decision. He is a kind of ambassador for India and this reflects the way India views him," he said.