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Curiosity Rover Makes First Foursquare Check-In On Another Planet

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the martian-marketing dept.

Mars 92

cylonlover writes "NASA launched a strategic partnership with location-based social networking site foursquare in 2010 with the first-ever check-in from the International Space Station (ISS) by astronaut Doug Wheelock. Now the space agency has gone one better with the first check-in on another planet thanks to its Curiosity Mars rover. Since fellow foursquare users will have a hard time checking in on the Red Planet themselves, they'll instead be able to earn a Curiosity-themed badge for visiting locations relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The badge will be available later this year and is designed to spark the scientific curiosity of foursquare users by encouraging them to visit science centers, laboratories and museums."

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92 comments

How (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557281)

retarded.

What next? (5, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557283)

Curiosity is a judge on America's Got Talent?

Re:What next? (3, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557315)

No, but it will be a judge on Martian Idol. The best part is the thin atmosphere prevents any of the contestants from "singing" very loudly in the few seconds before they pass out from lack of oxygen.

Re:What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41561957)

Yeah, I have similar expectations for a live Martian art performance ...

Re:What next? (1)

InEnacWeTrust (1638615) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557587)

Curiosity is a judge on America's Got Talent?

And then right after that...
Curiosity is a judge on a patent case trial.

Re:What next? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558125)

I was going to make a point along those lines - is this going to attract the attention of the potential-STEM crowd or just clue them in to the fact that the mainstream doesn't give two shits about science (and is enamored with silly but highly profitable frivolities instead) earlier than desired?

This, on the other hand, I thought was immensely cool:

http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/09/01/2135239/darpas-phoenix-program-to-bring-satellites-back-from-the-dead [slashdot.org]

Getting to run your code on a robot in SPACE!? That's the stuff that makes geeks cream their pants. Sadly it's "defense" related in this case but it's still a great example of PR for future talent done right.

Re:What next? (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558861)

Curiosity is a judge on America's Got Talent?

No, curiosity will be a contestant on America's Got Talent and they'll have people text their opinion of who they think is more talented: Curiosity for landing on Mars or some girl who plays the theme to Gossip Girl on a marimba made of partially-filled Coke bottles. I bet the marketers win.

Re:What next? (2)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#41559133)

It's pretty fucking depressing that all of the biggest news items in the press about an SUV that we drop on another planet is . . . the social networking it does.

Maybe it's time to just pack it in, consume whatever is left on this planet, and flash out of existence.

Re:What next? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41559995)

Some of actually care about the science mission and want to choke the life out of the current NASA PR people.

Re:What next? (3, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41562385)

So what? Nobody cared about lunar geology or the LEM's stability problems, either. They cared about astronaut ice cream and a guy playing golf on the moon. If it weren't for stunts like this, nearly everyone would forget that we landed an SUV on Mars at all. When Curiosity tweets, or releases a Will.i.am single, or does something else that the public actually cares about, it reminds people how NASA can do awesome things.

Like it or not, the way to get more space funding is to put popular fads in space.

Curiosity runs ios 6 (5, Funny)

badford (874035) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557303)

so it was actually on mercury. Damn Apple maps!

Re:Curiosity runs ios 6 (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558887)

Google Maps claimed there was a Starbucks near the rover.

Hell, maybe there is

Re:Curiosity runs ios 6 (1)

dragon-file (2241656) | about a year and a half ago | (#41560525)

Google Maps claimed there was a Starbucks near the rover.

Hell, maybe there is

It's highly likely. You cant walk a block without running into at least one Starbucks here on earth.

Anything to generate interest in math and science (5, Insightful)

slacka (713188) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557319)

I'm fine with this as long as any revenue generated from this is going towards science or advancing NASA's missions.

Re:Anything to generate interest in math and scien (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41559309)

But that's slippery -- publicity generates NASA's budget.

Most interesting part... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557341)

...Is that curiosity could get a GPS fix from that far away. Unless it is locating by cell tower or wifi. Though the presence of GPS, wifi, or cell towers would be a much more interesting find then the water it was sent up there to look for.

Re:Most interesting part... (3, Insightful)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557371)

From what I recall vaguely, Mars has some sort of GPS system set up. Searching it they use GPS towers [stanford.edu] that give GPS to a small area.

Re:Most interesting part... (3, Informative)

spacefight (577141) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557399)

Last modified Mon, 1 Nov, 2010 at 14:42 Nowhere it says on that article, that it is deployed... http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20120817.html [nasa.gov]

Re:Most interesting part... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558149)

Geeky dreaming time is over, realism ENGAGE!

I'm guessing NASA just asked Foursquare to manually fudge the data in, I'd be shocked if Foursquare supported locations on other planets at all.

Re:Most interesting part... (5, Informative)

Whizziwig (23055) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558489)

there's now a planet enum internally (only mars + earth for now ... hopefully we go do something interesting on the moon again soon), and an alternate latlng field that we're storing the planet-specific coordinates in. The web rendering code knows to look for the astralLatLng if planet != earth. So that all our current clients and api consumers don't explode , we're pushing out the earth latlng of mission control via the public api.

Quick question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557349)

Is Curiosity rover male or female?

Re:Quick question (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557369)

Gender unspecific - that's why it's so damn curious

Re:Quick question (5, Funny)

Chuq (8564) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557385)

Mars Rover Bicuriosity will be visiting Uranus next year.

Re:Quick question (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558881)

Mars Rover Bicuriosity will be visiting Uranus next year.

I just hope it doesn't check in there.

Re:Quick question (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557413)

Gender unspecific - that's why it's so damn curious

Lucky it isn't on Uranus, then !

Re:Quick question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557435)

Gender unspecific - that's why it's so damn curious

Lucky it isn't on Uranus, then !

Curiosity rover drills into your Uranus.

Re:Quick question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557503)

Well it has a drill and 17 cameras connected to the internet to document it's drilling. So I would says its male.

Female (3)

Morgaine (4316) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557843)

Is Curiosity rover male or female?

On report panels and interviews, the scientists and engineers on the Curiosity team refer to the rover as "she" and "her" .

Using the female gender seems to be traditional for ships, so perhaps that extends to spaceships, and by association, to space probes.

Re:Female (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558707)

She is brilliant for sure. And I was definitely "in love" with her when she blasted through the atmosphere and made that killer landing. But now that she spends so much time on studying rocks I feel we have drifted (or roved ;-) ) . I love her but I am in not "in love" with her now.

Re:Female (2)

fallen1 (230220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41559081)

Would not calling a space probe "her" then bring all new meaning to the victims who have been anally probed? Would that not mean that "she" was hermaphroditic??

Mayor of Mars? (2)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557379)

Or would it be more like God-Emperor by the time anyone else sets foot there?

Re:Mayor of Mars? (1, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557499)

Mayor of Mars? Or would it be more like God-Emperor by the time anyone else sets foot there?

I believe that the technically correct title for *any* Foursquare user is "Narcissistic, self-obsessed hipster scum". (^_^)

Re:Mayor of Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557739)

Still better than a judgmental Slashdot poster.

Re:Mayor of Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41563005)

I think the Mechanicum would insist on calling him the Omnissiah...

What is foursquare (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557403)

What is foursquare? I just looked and it looks like some cut-down facebook thingy

Re:What is foursquare (4, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557447)

What is foursquare? I just looked and it looks like some cut-down facebook thingy

It's basically the most self-indulgent, navel-gazing, self-important-attention-whoring, up-their-own-arse and downright pointless aspects of social media distilled to a level of 100% pure worthlessness.

This is quite obviously another would-be public-attention-grabbing stunt along the lines of the Will.I.Am transmission a few weeks back, and it's open for debate which of the two are worse.

Re:What is foursquare (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557867)

We get it, from your multiple and repetitive posts in this story - you don't like Foursquare. Bit with all that vitriol, you might want to avoid saying that anything or anybody other than yourself is "self-important", "narcissistic", "pointless", "up-their-own-arse", etc.

Re:What is foursquare (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558889)

My "multiple and repetitive posts" constituting a grand total of *two*, i.e. the minimum required for you to be technically correct, but not enough to avoid your response coming across as whiny exaggeration anyway. :-)

Re:What is foursquare (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558207)

I could see the value of sharing your location with friends, I'd just never use Foursquare to do it for numerous privacy-related reasons.

Re:What is foursquare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41560165)

"It's basically the most self-indulgent, navel-gazing, self-important-attention-whoring, up-their-own-arse and downright pointless aspects of social media distilled to a level of 100% pure worthlessness."

So, it *is* like a cut-down facebook thingy?

Re:What is foursquare (2)

Have Blue (616) | about a year and a half ago | (#41559787)

It's a service which helps you post your location/patronage on social media, basically. Rather than typing in "I'm at the Starbucks at 14th and 2nd Avenue" you use a GPS-driven search to find it.

It also gives you points for doing this and ranks your activity against your friends, which is why some people get really into it.

Re:What is foursquare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41562043)

Have Blue already explained what Foursquare is, but it should be noted that since Foursquare became popular, Facebook added its own (not as popular, as far as I can tell) clone of Foursquare's capabilities (i.e. the ability to do location check-ins but not the whole badges system), which might explain why you are having trouble seeing what Foursquare does that Facebook doesn't.

How sad (4, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557417)

NASA should be doing pure science, and that should be reason enough to excite Joe Public. I mean hell, I can't get over the fact that I can see detailed images of Mars from the comfort of my own living room. If someone had told me that when I was a kid, I would never have believed it. Yet, there we are - humanity is there through its machines. It should blow people's minds!

Instead of that, NASA is regularly forced to do shitty high-profile, useless and pathetic "interstellar internet" stunts with shitty dotcoms to attract attention, and presumably funding. That's how sad, uneducated and blaze people have become.

Re:How sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557451)

It is inevitable that the latest in technology and science becomes commonplace. As for this stunt, I doubt it's taking NASA much effort to do it and if it can create good PR and education people, it's a good thing. It might be "sad", but these are the alternatives to approaches that won't work.

Re:How sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557595)

It is inevitable that the latest in technology and science becomes commonplace.

The problem is that the technology isn't anywhere near commonplace. I will discontinue my "WOW" response to NASA missions when I can afford to launch a probe to explore an asteroid or planet, and take a trip to the moon for the weekend.

Re:How sad (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557457)

It's kinda cool, but definitely not any more mindblowing than getting video of a man on the moon.. especially since our computing and telecommunications prowess is (or at least, should be) a lot more advanced these days.

Re:How sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557579)

Instead of that, NASA is regularly forced to do shitty high-profile, useless and pathetic "interstellar internet" stunts with shitty dotcoms to attract attention, and presumably funding. That's how sad, uneducated and blaze people have become.

At least this particular quest for attention isn't ending up with the deaths of seven astronauts...

Re:How sad (2, Informative)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557705)

That's how sad, uneducated and blaze people have become.

We are so on fire (blaze) we are not unimpressed or bored (blase).
If you want to complain about the uneducated masses, at least use the correct words lest you be considered uneducated yourself.

Re:How sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558891)

blasé

I will obtain my coat and head for the door.

Re:How sad (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557809)

Look, rocket fuel ain't cheap. Next mission the McRover will be covered in ads NASCAR-style.

Re:How sad (2)

SonnyDog09 (1500475) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558075)

... and the folks in mission control will be required to drink a Coca Cola during when they are interviewed. They will also be required to say things like "The Penzoil, Gatoraid, Whizzo-Butter Rover had a good day today."

Re:How sad (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558935)

Maybe. But you'll know it's time to tune out permanently if they start talking about how the rover "has electrolytes."

Re:How sad (1)

Metabolife (961249) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558049)

If you don't hear about something happening, how are you going to be interested in it? This drives home the point that mars is a real location and it makes people feel more connected as it now relates to their daily lives. I think it's arrogant to call people uneducated for not showing an initial interest in the topics that YOU show interest in. Different motivators for different people.

Re:How sad (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558117)

NASA should be doing pure science, and that should be reason enough to excite Joe Public. I mean hell, I can't get over the fact that I can see detailed images of Mars from the comfort of my own living room. If someone had told me that when I was a kid, I would never have believed it. Yet, there we are - humanity is there through its machines. It should blow people's minds!

I dunno.. when I was a kid there was images from Viking and they don't look that different to me.

The science is way more advanced sure but in terms of public wow factor there's not a whole lot more to get excited about.

Re:How sad (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558449)

I mean hell, I can't get over the fact that I can see detailed images of Mars from the comfort of my own living room. If someone had told me that when I was a kid, I would never have believed it.

Just out of curiosity (if you'll pardon the pun), just how much older than sixty (being charitable) are you? Because such things have clearly been coming since the first blurry images from Viking popped up on the boob tube in the comfort of my parent's living room back in the seventies when *I* was a kid.

Re:How sad (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41560469)

NASA is regularly forced to do shitty high-profile, useless and pathetic "interstellar internet" stunts

Actually, it's pretty important. The rovers don't communicate directly with Earth. They transmit to satellites orbiting Mars, which relay it to ground stations here on Earth, which relay it to JPL. So adding another hop to the Internet isn't that big an investment of resources, and is probably good practice for when this will become more commonplace (do you really want to coordinate the broadcast schedules of dozens of rovers on Mars, or do you want it to work like auto-routing Internet packets?). It's come a long way since Apollo, when the moon landing was broadcast live to the world by sticking a video camera in front of a monitor at a ground station in Australia.

Re:How sad (1)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | about a year and a half ago | (#41560631)

Why exactly should NASA be doing "pure science"?

Sure, that is a big part of NASA's mission. But if we don't find ways to entice young people to pursue science, where will that leave us? What's the harm in creating a little publicity? It seems to me that a stunt like this can go a long way towards advancing science, in the long run.

Re:How sad (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | about a year and a half ago | (#41561631)

NASA should be doing pure science, and that should be reason enough to excite Joe Public.

This just in: not everybody likes the same stuff you do.

NASA is regularly forced to do shitty high-profile, useless and pathetic "interstellar internet" stunts with shitty dotcoms to attract attention

So negative! Did you ever think the people at JPL/NASA did this because it's fun? There are lots of us who absolutely have our minds blown by the success of Curiosity AND think stuff like this is neat too.

Re:How sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41562113)

NASA is regularly forced to do shitty high-profile, useless and pathetic "interstellar internet" stunts with shitty dotcoms to attract attention, and presumably funding.

Don't know about anybody else, but I don't presume that a foursquare checkin was done to attract funding. I imagine it was done because it's cool. And if NASA=cool rather than NASA=stodgy, that can only be good for the future of space exploration. IMO, this is like broadcasting the Apollo landing on TV. Every* kid who saw that wanted to be an astronaut. So now everybody who has a foursquare account may see this and may want to be an astronaut. This is neither useless nor pathetic; it's good PR, which was probably easy to do anyway.

* /. pedants: I'm aware that "every" is false. Beside the point.

Slash ad much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557505)

Hang on, the news story is that you can earn a badge if you are an user of some site? Damn, Slashdot must really need those advertisement money.

GPS doesn't exist on Mars (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557771)

So how can we verify this post?

Also, GPS doesn't identify the body the planets are orbiting. So it might very well claim its landed on Jupiter.

I'm skeptical... (1)

meisteg (1051686) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557885)

I find it hard to believe that Curiosity actually did the check-in from Mars. It's more likely a NASA PR person did it, just like they do for their Twitter posts "from Mars" (see @MarsPhoenix for example).

Re:I'm skeptical... (1)

safetyinnumbers (1770570) | about a year and a half ago | (#41559409)

I follow Curiosity on FaceBook (don't judge me) and it's silly that it's written from it's point-of-view, but seeing it announce that it would soon be Mayor of Mars actually made me laugh. Funnier than when it announced "I did a science!"

It's entertainingly done, and I get a feed of it's pictures without having to remember to check for them. Most missions are 'fire and forget" to much of the population, but this is staying in the news a lot more.

I just hope they don't hire Randall Munroe [xkcd.com] to write them.

Curiousity for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557935)

The rover will be mayor of Mars for decades!

Curiosity is the mayor of Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558001)

Why am I reminded of Stranger in a Strange Land?

Slashdot logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558007)

Am I the only one who thinks the animates Slashdot logo looks like an opening and closing anus? I mean it seems like /. has decided to just drop all pretenses of being a tech website and is just going for the goatse crowd.

Captcha: "classy"

Re:Slashdot logo (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558291)

It's a camera aperture, clearly. But maybe we can find out which day goatse launched and put some hands around the "O" as a user-submitted logo for the anniversary.

Re:Slashdot logo (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41562483)

Your anus is a spiral? You should get that looked at. If not by a doctor, then by a porn producer.

Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558241)

Curiosity has a built-in facebook!!!

Check In from Mars (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41558739)

I will give $10 via PayPal to the first person who can convince the Foursquare API to accept that they're checking in from Mars.

You'll never collect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41559249)

You'll never collect. Anyone smart enough to do it wouldn't be stupid enough to waste time on 4sq.

Marco - Pollo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41561473)

So this will be how people find their family/friends in space a hundred years from now. I always wondered how people in sci-fi movies knew how to find someone else when they could be light years away on some planet. They checked in and their family could check their location in 4 square. Interesting.

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