SAN FRANCISCO — NASA’s Mars rover took the post-PC revolution into space on Wednesday by using location-sharing mobile application Foursquare to “check-in” on the Red Planet.
“NASA is using Foursquare as a tool to share the rover’s new locations while exploring Mars,” said NASA spokesman David Weaver.
“This will help to involve the public with the mission and give them a sense of the rover’s travels through Gale Crater,” where the Curiosity rover landed in August.
People using social network Foursquare can keep up with Curiosity as the rover explores Mars, checking in at key locations and posting photos and tips, according to NASA.
Details were available online at foursquare.com/MarsCuriosity or foursquare.com/NASA.
NASA announced last week that the Mars rover has discovered gravel once carried by the waters of an ancient stream that “ran vigorously” through the area.
Scientists had previously found other evidence that water once was present on the Red Planet, but this is the first time stream bed gravel has been discovered.
Curiosity is on a two-year mission to investigate whether it is possible to live on Mars and to learn whether conditions there might have been able to support life in the past.
The $2.5 billion craft landed in Gale Crater on August 6, opening a new chapter in the history of interplanetary exploration.
Earth-bound Foursquare users will be able to earn Curiosity-themed virtual badges at the social network for check-ins at labs, science centers or other locations that inspire interest in technology, math or engineering.
NASA launched its alliance with Foursquare two years ago with astronaut Doug Wheelock checking in from the International Space Station.