On August 6th, 2012, Â The Curiosity Rover landed safely on the surface of Mars. TheÂ Curiosity was not only the largest rover ever built, but alsoÂ filled with the most sophisticated mobile laboratory that has ever landed on another planet, and ended up costing NASA a good $2.5 billion.
Now getting The Curiosity on MarsÂ was no easy task, there wereÂ severalÂ stages to the landing, and at one point, the spacecraft carrying the Curiosity was accelerated by Mar’s gravity to aÂ whoopingÂ 13,000 miles per hour!Â Â But everything went according to plan in the end. The capsule carrying theÂ CuriosityÂ entered the atmosphere right on time, and with thrusters guiding it toward the Gale Crater (its official landingÂ destination)Â the specially designed parachute deployed, with that, the rover and rocket stage dropped away, and beganÂ descendingÂ towards the surface. The Curiosity Mars Rover made anÂ officialÂ touch down at 1:32 am Eastern Time, and as the words “Touchdown Confirmed” Â filled theÂ controlÂ room, Â cheers, whistles, hugs, and high-fives were shared all around.
Well, since theÂ majorityÂ of us weren’t in the control room, at the moment of landing TheÂ CuriosityÂ Rover Â sent out a tweet via twitterÂ @MarscuriosityÂ stating the following:Â “I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!” Within 3 days of the landing The Curiosity Mars Rover had 800,000 followers. The Curiosity’s tweets containedÂ panoramicÂ images of the surface of Mars, links to footage of the landing, and was even was kind enough to tweet back followers includingÂ celebritiesÂ like: Steve Martin, who posted a joke on twitter talking Â about theÂ Curiosity, saying: Â “I sneezed on it before blast off. I hope that’s okay.” The Curiosity tweeted back with a comment of its own, saying:Â Â “Oh, Steve. That’s snot ok. We have rules about that.” And even kind enough to post this with a link toÂ NASA’s planetary protectionÂ rules.
Now, The Curiosity isn’tÂ actuallyÂ sending out these tweets, NASAÂ employeesÂ are. And many haveÂ criticizedÂ the tweets as “too cheerful” or “cheesy,” but when it comes down to it, NASA is getting what they want from this, attention. And as of writing this article The Curiosity Rover has 1,215, 709 followers on Twitter, which I’d say means this attention-grabbing tactic has been pretty successful. Personally, I enjoy reading the twitter updates on The Curiosity Rover, and being able to see the amazing panoramic photos, and keeping up to date on new discoveries and the activity on Mars.
I love the idea of giving The Curiosity a twitter! Keep up the good work NASA!