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Curiosity Takes Up Mobile App to Connect With Earthlings

Oct 04, 2012 08:31 AM EDT

NASA's Curiosity rover Wednesday checked in on Mars using foursquare mobile app to connect with people on Earth.

This is the first time that a check in has been done in another planet. The rover will send pictures and details of its new locations during its exploration of the Gale Crater where it landed, according to NASA.

Curiosity posted a message on the social networking site foursquare as well as twitter saying, "One check-in closer to being Mayor of Mars!"

A picture of rover's shadow on the Martian soil was also shared on the sites.

 "NASA is using Foursquare as a tool to share the rover's new locations while exploring Mars," David Weaver, associate administrator for communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington, 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," he said.

NASA joined foursquare on a partnership since 2010 enabling users to connect with NASA. According to a report from Mashable, Curiosity's next check in will be from Rocknest, the next stop on Gale Crater for the rover where it will conduct various scientific experiments.

"We'll start getting to more specific locations within the crater," Mashable quoted Veronica McGregor, social media manager at NASA, as saying.

"We may not do daily check-ins for each drive, but we will be able to do check-ins and tips for locations after we name them," she said.

Curiosity, which landed successfully on Mars on Aug. 5, is on a two-year mission carrying ten scientific instruments to study the areas chosen in the Gale crater if they could have ever supported microbial life.

The rover is currently on its mission to Glenelg, a geological site of interest where three different terrains intersect. The final destination of Curiosity is Mount Sharp, which is about 3 miles tall, to perform scientific experiments as the sand there has different chemical composition that can be seen based on their color. It will take at least a year for Curiosity to reach Mount Sharp.

Curiosity will be conducting various scientific operations to test soil and rock samples of the Martian surface on its journey to the destination. Last week, rover made its longest drive yet travelling for 138 feet after collecting its first rock sample called as "Jake Matijevic" for examination.

Just two months after it landed on Mars, Curiosity has already found an ancient streambed giving a significant evidence of the presence of environment that could have supported life on Mars.

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