Here’s a fun and creative way to use Twitter. NASA has given its new Mars Rover its very own Twitter handle, which currently has more than half a million followers. The fun part is that the Rover is tweeting in the first person, though obviously a machine.
Dubbed ‘Curiosity Rover’ with the handle @MarsCuriosity, the Twitter account appears to be tweeting several times an hour since being deployed, parachuting in and landing. Here’s one of my favorite tweets from 8 hours ago:
Parachute deployed! Velocity 900 mph. Altitude 7 miles. 4 minutes to Mars! #MSL
As you can see, the Twitter handle is also using a unique hashtag (#MSL), so that other Twitter users can follow what everyone might have to say about the landing event.
Even better, the Rover has started taking pictures from the surface. Here’s a good one (image above), which they posted using Twitpic, a service for sharing photos on Twitter. You can find a larger version here: http://twitpic.com/ag43lt/full
This isn’t the first time NASA has utilized a new technology to create some buzz. Back in October of 2010, NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock was the first to ‘check-in’ from space using Internet startup sensation Foursquare.
I give NASA a lot of credit for continuously trying these social platforms for different occasions. For a brand with an image of being all business, the group has done a great job leveraging new technologies to engage a broader audience and make space relevant again.
What’s your favorite tweet thus from the Rover?