The team behind NASA's New Horizons mission has drawn up its proposed list of names for yet-to-be-discovered geological features on Pluto and its moons — and the lineup ranges from Gilgamesh (the mythical hero of the Mesopotamian epic of the 22nd century B.C.) to Mr. Spock (the fictional Vulcan from the 23rd century A.D.).
There's plenty on the list to please "Star Trek" fans as well as those who love "Star Wars," the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and H.P. Lovecraft, and "The Wizard of Oz." The proposed names also evoke other sci-fi epics, real-life and fictional explorers, the biggest names in space exploration, and myths and legends from around the world.
Input for the list came from an "OurPluto" online survey that drew about 60,000 filled-in ballots and 15,000 write-in candidates, said Mark Showalter, a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute who organized the naming campaign.