The Mars rover Curiosity checked in on Mars using Foursquare yesterday, the first check-in from another planet. Foursquare users can keep up with the rover as it trundles across Gale Crater, photographing its route and touching rocks along the way. So far the rover's human team on Earth has posted a couple photos.
Foursquare users will be able to earn a new Curiosity-themed badge by visiting laboratories, museums and science centers that "pique scientific curiosity," according to NASA. The space agency has been using the social-location service since 2010, when astronaut Doug Wheelock became the first to check in from the International Space Station.
Gale Crater is listed under "Other Great Outdoors" on Foursquare, and Curiosity's team has already posted a couple tips for would-be visitors: "Mars is cold, dry and rocky. Extra moisturizer and sturdy shoes would be a good idea, plus oxygen for those of you who breathe." Go be Curiosity's friend here.
Nothing but boring pictures from this thing.
No boring. That picture came with a cost of billions.
Not boring. That picture came with a cost of billions.
It's not boring because it's expensive? Huh?
Yes, the shocking expense of the cost to deliver this picture does make it more interesting. Now that could make bad news or good news, it up to you. But it does take away from the boring part.
Sir, this is one awesome link! WoWzers! Thankyou!:)
suggestivesimon, thank you thank you thank you!!!!
That link is sweet as he11. I want to go to Mars like the man in Castaway wants his hometown. It would be wonderful to get to Mars.
Now, the Foursquare bit has another part to it: Consumer rovers. People who just want to look around on Mars can just log onto their own rover and plug away on the red planet
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
You'd thing that, with the billions poured into the project they'd get a better camera. And color.
Curiosity's choice of camera was dictated by:
- The fact that they had to write up the specs for the camera back in 2004 so as to be able to start designing the thing
- The amount of bandwidth they have to transfer data back to Earth
- For cost and schedule reasons, the same sensor had to be used for 4 different applications (Hand lens imager, the two Mastcams and the descent imager)
Anything going to space needs to be qualified for both the rigors of launch (vibration) and the rigors of the Martian environment (daily tempature swings of 100K), so putting electronics up there isn't a simple endeavour.
All this means that picking a camera for Curiosity wasn't trivial. NASA had many many reasons to pick this camera, and not one with more megapixels. As you can see in the link I posted above, the resulting images are nonetheless breathtaking.