I just discovered that NASA’s curiosity rover,
which who landed on Mars last night, has its own Facebook and Twitter pages where it posts updates about its mission in the first person. It seems a bit over the top, but why not? I guess NASA thinks they can gain more media attention if they pretend their robot likes Carly Rae Jepsen. What’s funnier is that it’s probably actually pretty effective. Here are some highlights from the Facebook page:
- FYI, I aim to send bigger, color pix from Mars later this week once I’ve got my head up and Mastcam active.
- No photo or it didn’t happen? Well lookee here, I’m casting a shadow on the ground in Mars’ Gale crater.
- Call me, maybe? All the ways I could phone home after landing on Mars.
- Timeline activated. Bleep-bop. I’m running entry, descent and landing flight software all on my own. Countdown to Mars: 5 days!
I also came across a Popular Science article where the author’s have taken to NASA’s personification of the rover:
A few seconds before landing, about a mile up, the spacecraft performed the most daring maneuver of its life, dropping out of its backshell with no supports or airbags. Eight retro-rockets fired up to bring Curiosity to a slow hover, to about 1.7 MPH. Then four of the engines shut off as nylon cords began spooling the rover down on a bridle. This “sky crane” lowered the rover slowly until its six wheels hit the fulvous sand, and then Curiosity sliced its umbilical cord.
And here’s this morning’s xkcd: