NASA’s Curiosity Rover ‘Checks In’ on Foursquare

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NASA’s Curiosity rover has checked in on Mars using the social media application Foursquare, marking the first such check-in from the surface of another world.

Foursquare users who check into a particular venue more times than anybody else in the past 60 days become the “mayor” of that place. Curiosity will continue to check in at various locations throughout its Gale Crater landing site, posting photos and tips as it rolls along, NASA officials said.

“NASA is using Foursquare as a tool to share the rover’s new locations while exploring Mars,” NASA spokesman David Weaver said in a statement. “This will help to involve the public with the mission and give them a sense of the rover’s travels through Gale Crater.”

Foursquare users will be able to earn a Curiosity-themed badge by checking in at museums, laboratories and other locations that generate an interest in science, engineering and technology, NASA officials said. The badge will become available later this year.

NASA’s Curiosity rover, the centerpiece of the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission, landed Aug. 5 with the aim of determining if the Gale area ever could have supported microbial life. The six-wheeled robot is about two months into its planned two-year mission.