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October 04, 2012

Curiosity Checks in from Mars Using Foursquare

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Foursquare (News - Alert) is truly “out of this world.”

NASA's Curiosity rover checked in this week using Foursquare, the well-known mobile application – from the planet Mars.

The event represents the first check-in made on another planet, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Foursquare users can keep track of Curiosity as it continues to explore Mars and checks in at key locations and posts impressive photos.

"NASA is using Foursquare as a tool to share the rover's new locations while exploring Mars," David Weaver, a NASA spokesman, said in an agency 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 landed in Gale Crater earlier this year and commenced its 23-month mission. Curiosity is heading toward Mount Sharp (News - Alert), a three-mile-high mountain. Experiments testing rocks and soil hope to show if Mars ever was capable of supporting microbial life.

Spacecraft orbiting Mars have found evidence to suggest Mount Sharp's foothills were exposed to water in the past, according to

Image via NASA

Curiosity, the well-equipped portable science lab and unmanned rover, could even search for signs of prior life, TMCnet said. It should stay in operation for at least two years and maybe twice that, NASA said.

As a bonus, Foursquare users can earn a Curiosity-themed badge for check-ins at locations that generate an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

NASA has been on Foursquare since 2010. It started with astronaut Doug Wheelock's check-in from the International Space Station. Upon that check-in, Dennis Crowley (News - Alert), CEO and cofounder of Foursquare, said, "Check-ins from around the world have been cool, but this blew my mind! We're psyched to partner with NASA to help users explore the space program and the universe.”

For information about NASA's partnership with Foursquare, click here

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Austin 2012, happening now in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker

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