By Catherine Potts
Dec 5, 2008
More Articles by Catherine
Twitter this and twitter that. We all know there are those that live and die by the twitter. Updates can come fast and furious, regardless if it’s information you really cared about or not. Well, NASA has gotten in on the game.
I’ve often found it fascinating to listen to the NASA communications during shuttle missions. If you’ve not tried it, it’s actually very interesting and not something you encounter every day. It’s akin to listening to the pilots on a major jetliner talk to the tower, but way cooler. Veronica McGregor had to figure out a way of getting out the word on Mars Phoenix and ended up turning to technology that NASA helped create: cell phone and computer technology.
“The fact that Twitter could send messages right to people’s cell phones — it seemed like a good idea to let people know about the landing.”
So McGregor created a plucky persona for the 420-million-dollar robot and planted a flag on a new NASA frontier: Twitter-verse.
“I dig Mars!” was among Lander Tweets. Blog posts after its unprecedented May touch-down included an ice-discovery message ending with “w00t!!! Best day ever!!”
Some of the sad, but funny tweets:
[Our lander (RIP) had the best name. The next rover to Mars, @MarsScienceLab, needs a name. A contest for kids: http://is.gd/85rQ ]
12:16 AM Nov 19th from web
[We can't quit you, either! The team saw and loved this today -- very, uh, creative: http://tinyurl.com/65ou9y Enjoy. More news soon] 10:52 PM Nov 18th from web
[We'd also like to note 1300 NEW followers since Phoenix went to sleep last week. Not one of you has dropped. Best group EVAR! Thank you!] 10:36 PM Nov 18th from web
[Phoenix team: We liked this recent series about Phoenix on Stardate http://tinyurl.com/6yf3wq (and click on subsequent dates)] 10:29 PM Nov 18th from web
[Ops: Retweet @alexismadrigal: @MarsPhoenix is finally frozen on the Martian arctic plain. Veni, vidi, fodi. RIP: http://snurl.com/5amfx ] 3:06 PM Nov 10th from web
[Phoenix Ops: We promised Phoenix to continue to update here its discoveries and future news. Another goodbye from Mars: http://is.gd/6Xfp ] 2:42 PM Nov 10th from web
[Phoenix mission ops: We bid our good friend a fond farewell. Phoenix did us proud: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/vid... ] 2:23 PM Nov 10th from web
[From Phoenix mission ops: Phoenix is no longer communicating with Earth. We'll continue to listen, but it's likely its mission has ended.] 2:19 PM Nov 10th from web
So this is a fantastic thing NASA is doing with the Twitter site. Typically I think NASA really tries to make all things spacey available for Joe SEO or Joe Schmo but this is definitely a way that seems to mimic the affection the scientists have for the projects they put so much effort into. If you get a chance, go check out the tweets. Tweet on and prosper!