New York USA (2 November 2009 LT) — Luna Society International has announced that a crater on Luna, Earth’s Moon, has been renamed to honour the legendary actor and icon Shah Rukh Khan.
The decision to designate the crater for the famed “King Of Bollywood” came following an overwhelming deluge of petitions from his passionate fans in India and around the world. Known as “King Khan” or simply “SRK” to his legion of devotees, Mr. Khan has received widespread critical acclaim for his cinematic performances, which have earned him thirteen Filmfare Awards, including seven in the Best Actor category. He is also among the most prominent owners of real property on the Moon.
The crater, which is located in the Moon’s northern Mare Tranquillitatis (“Sea of Tranquility”) region, has been given the honorary designation as the Crater S.R. Khan on the occasion of Mr. Khan’s 44th birthday on 2 November 2009.
Born in New Delhi, Mr. Khan attended St. Columba’s School there as a youth. He was presented with the school’s Sword of Honour, an annual award given to the student who best represents the spirit of the school. Mr. Khan was graduated from the Hansraj College, where he earned his Bachelors degree in Economics with honors.
He studied toward a Masters Degree in Mass Communications at Jamia Millia Islamia, but decided instead to pursue a career as an actor, training under the eminent theatre director Barry John at Theatre Action Group (TAG) in Delhi.
Mr. Khan made his motion picture debut in 1992’s “Deewana,” for which he won the Filmfare Best Male Debut Award. The following year, he received the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in “Baazigar,” as well as the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Performance for “Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa.” In addition to six subsequent Best Actor awards, he has also won the Filmfare Best Villain Award (“Anjaam,” 1994).
On television, Mr. Khan hosted the 2007 season of “Kaun Banega Crorepati,” the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” made famous in the Academy Award-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” He is also the head of two production companies, Dreamz Unlimited and Red Chillies Entertainment, and co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders cricket franchise of the Indian Premier League. Mr. Khan is a notable owner of property on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility region.
The crater designated to honor Shah Rukh Khan was previously known as Arago B, and is located at 3.4° North (latitude) and 20.8° East (longitude) on the so-called “Earthside” of the Moon. It measures approximately seven kilometers in diameter.
The S. R. Khan Crater is part of the Arago crater group, named for François Jean Dominique Arago (1786-1853), a Catalan-French mathematician, physicist, astronomer and politician. It is the largest of four satellite craters to Arago, and rests in the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, directly south from the main Arago crater. The Apollo 11 lunar landing site lies southeast of the crater, which is visible from Earth when viewed with a standard consumer-grade telescope under optimal conditions.
The official designation of a Lunar crater is a singular honor bestowed upon only a select few luminaries. Among those receiving this rare tribute over the past century are Leonardo da Vinci, Christopher Columbus, Sir Isaac Newton, Julius Caesar and Jules Verne.
Luna Society International is the world’s largest and most prominent group advocating privatized exploration, settlement and development of Earth’s Moon. The centerpiece of the Society’s effort is a ten-year, $3.8-billion (USD) program to return humans to the Moon and establish permanent bases there as part of a United Lunar Republic, encompassing thirteen autonomous regions on the Moon. (Mr. Khan owns several properties in the North Tranquility Zone.)
The Society has also developed the most successful commercially-available lunar photomap software ever released to the public, the Full Moon Atlas (http://www.fullmoonatlas.com), which is used by astronomers and in classrooms around the world.
The Luna Society successfully advocated the removal of a crater named for an accused Nazi war criminal, Dr. Hans Eppinger, Jr., by the International Astronomical Union, and is the prime mover behind the draft proposal to designate a group of Lunar craters as a memorial to the seven crew members who perished in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) tragedy.
Lunar Society International is a registered International Business Company (IBC #519589) currently authorized to operate in more than 200 nations around the world, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, China, Japan and India, as well as all other nations in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The Luna Society’s main operations hubs are in Hong Kong and on the Isle of Man (U.K.). It maintains a satellite office in Manhattan for business operations in the Americas.