NASA encourages public to explore its curiosity with new rover-themed badge on Foursquare

Dec 27, 2012
An image of the Curiosity Explorer badge that can be earned by Foursquare users who check into a NASA visitor center or a venue categorized as a science museum or planetarium. Image Credit: Foursquare/NASA

NASA and the mobile application Foursquare have teamed up to help the public unlock its scientific curiosity with a new rover-themed Curiosity Explorer badge.

Users of the Foursquare social can earn the badge by following NASA and checking in at a NASA visitor center or venue categorized as a or planetarium. Upon earning the badge, users will see a special message on Foursquare:

"Get out your rock-vaporizing laser! You've explored your scientific curiosities just like NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars. Stay curious and keep exploring. You never know what you'll find."

The launch of the badge follows the October check-in on Mars by NASA's Curiosity rover, which marked the first check-in on another planet. Foursquare users can keep up with Curiosity as the rover checks in at key locations and posts photos and tips, all while exploring the Red Planet.

After landing in Gale Crater in August, Curiosity began a 23-month mission that includes some of Mars' most intriguing science destinations. The mission's main science destination will be , a mountain about 3 miles (5 kilometers) tall. First, Curiosity is investigating targets on flatter ground near the mountain, seeking clues in the rocks and soil that would indicate whether Mars ever was capable of supporting . It also is taking pictures of the trip, beaming them back to Earth for all to share.

NASA has been on Foursquare since 2010 through a with the platform. This partnership, launched with astronaut Doug Wheelock's first-ever check-in from the , has allowed users to connect with NASA, and enabled them to explore the universe and rediscover Earth.

The partnership launched the now-expired NASA Explorer badge for Foursquare users, which encouraged them to explore NASA-related locations across the country. It also included the launch of a NASA Foursquare page, where the agency continues to provide official tips and information about the nation's space program.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission and its Curiosity rover for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

To follow the Mars Curiosity rover and NASA on Foursquare, visit: www.foursquare.com/MarsCuriosity and www.foursquare.com/NASA

Explore further: First Orion flight will assess radiation risk as NASA thinks about human Mars missions

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