With Foursquare Check-in, Curiosity Rover Aspires to Be "Mayor" of Mars - NBC Bay Area

With Foursquare Check-in, Curiosity Rover Aspires to Be "Mayor" of Mars

"One check-in closer to being Mayor of Mars!" NASA's rover posted on the mobile app



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    The Mars rover Curiosity posted this image with its Foursquare check-in at the Gale Crater Wednesday.

    Who's the mayor of Mars?

    NASA's rover Curiosity, nearly.

    The rover checked in on the red planet using the mobile app Foursquare Wednesday, NASA announced.

    The social media application lets users check into various locations around the globe – and those with the most check-ins are dubbed the "mayor" of that spot.

    With its check-in to Mars' Gale Crater, Curiosity became the first user to check in to another planet.

    "One check-in closer to being Mayor of Mars!" Curiosity posted at its check-in before noon Pacific time.

    The 96-mile-wide crater, where the rover landed last month at the outset of a planned 23-month mission, is categorized on Foursquare as "Other Great Outdoors."

    To become mayor of Gale Crater, the rover will need to have checked in more days than any other user over the next 60 days.  That shouldn't be a problem, unless Martians get iPhones.

    "NASA is using Foursquare as a tool to share the rover's new locations while exploring Mars," said David Weaver, associate administrator for communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington, in a press release. "This will help to involve the public with the mission and give them a sense of the rover's travels through Gale Crater."

    NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock became the first person to use Foursquare to check in to outer space while at the International Space Station in 2010.

    "Check-ins from around the world have been cool, but this blew my mind," said Dennis Crowley, chief executive officer and co-founder of Foursquare, at the time.

    NASA and Foursquare have been in partnership since 2010.

    Later this year, Foursquare users will be able to earn a Curiosity badge on the app for check-ins at various science-related locations.

    The rover – managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena, Calif. – is also active on Twitter and Facebook.