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Mars NASA Social Networks Science

Curiosity Rover Makes First Foursquare Check-In On Another Planet 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the martian-marketing dept.
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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Curiosity Rover Makes First Foursquare Check-In On Another Planet

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  • What next? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gelfling (6534) on Friday October 05, 2012 @08:07AM (#41557283) Homepage Journal

    Curiosity is a judge on America's Got Talent?

    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday October 05, 2012 @08:12AM (#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.

    • Curiosity is a judge on America's Got Talent?

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

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      At least, top extraterrestrial reviewer for Yelp.
    • 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!? Th

    • by guttentag (313541)

      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.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      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.

      • Some of actually care about the science mission and want to choke the life out of the current NASA PR people.
      • Re:What next? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Antipater (2053064) on Friday October 05, 2012 @04:11PM (#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.

  • by badford (874035) on Friday October 05, 2012 @08:10AM (#41557303)
    so it was actually on mercury. Damn Apple maps!
    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Google Maps claimed there was a Starbucks near the rover.

      Hell, maybe there is

      • 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.

  • by slacka (713188) on Friday October 05, 2012 @08:13AM (#41557319)

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

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...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.

  • by ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) on Friday October 05, 2012 @08:20AM (#41557379)

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

  • What is foursquare? I just looked and it looks like some cut-down facebook thingy
    • by Dogtanian (588974) on Friday October 05, 2012 @08:33AM (#41557447) Homepage

      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.

      • 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.

    • by Have Blue (616)
      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.
  • How sad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday October 05, 2012 @08:27AM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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.

    • 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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by wbr1 (2538558)

      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.

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

      • ... 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • by Solandri (704621)

      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 sched

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • This "submission" is simply a lift from the actual article.

    If I wanted an RSS feed aggregator, I'd use a feed aggregator. Has Slashdot completely checked out at this point?

  • I do not want a machine to be the mayor of anything, even a lifeless rock in space!

  • 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 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).
    • 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.
  • 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.

  • Mars used to be cool, now it's gonna go downhill once all the idiots start going.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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