Curiosity Checks In On Mars
October 3, 2012

Curiosity Checks In On Mars With Foursquare

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

Some use the popular Foursquare mobile application to gloat about places they may be, whether on vacation or just eating lunch, but one location check-in puts all the others to shame.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover checked in on Mars Wednesday using Foursquare, setting a new bar for cool places to check in.

This is the first time there has been a check-in on another planet, and Curiosity has joined Foursquare to allow users to check all the rover's locations, as well as see photos and tips while on the Red Planet.

"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."

Curiosity is making its way towards Mount Sharp, which is a mountain that stands at about three miles tall. The rover will be conducting experiments along the way, seeking clues in rocks and soil that would show whether the planet was ever capable of supporting microbial life.

Foursquare users will be able to earn a Curiosity-themed badge on the social network for check-ins at locations that generate an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

NASA said this new badge will encourage Foursquare users to explore science centers, laboratories and museums that pique scientific curiosity.

The space agency partnered with Foursquare in 2010, which resulted in astronaut Doug Wheelock being the first person to ever check-in from the International Space Station.