Rover Opportunity to Join Fight for Mayor of Mars

NASA's social media team gears up for a Foursqaure faceoff

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two NASA rovers are about to compete for the title of Foursquare mayor of Mars.

    The battle for the Foursquare mayor of Mars has been joined.

    The rover Curiosity started its quest to become the Foursquare mayor of Mars earlier in October after its August landing. Rover social media teams on Earth told NBC4's Today in LA that they intend to have the other rover, Opportunity, compete for the social media title.

    "Curiosity checked into Gale cater last week and, after her second check-in, she became the mayor of Gale crater," said Veronica McGregor, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's news and social media manager. "Now, we are going to unique locations within the cater where we are doing some scientific studies. So, right now she has checked into Rocknest."

    Foursquare is the location-based social media application that allows users to check-in at locations around the world and now Mars. Each check-in brings users closer to the title of "Mayor" of that location.

    The three-member social media team based at JPL's La Canada Flintridge headquarters said the social media response has been amazing and funny at the same time.

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    "There was some very interesting comments that came back," said McGregor. "Some were quite humorous. What's going to be even funnier is if our other rover on Mars checks in also."

    Opportunity is the senior rover on Mars. It landed on the red planet in January 2004 and has logged some 20 miles.

    McGregor's team will began to check Opportunity in on Foursquare at sites the rover visits.

    "We actually control the social media for both of those accounts and we had only been paying attention for the last couple of weeks to Curiosity, and its funny that here on earth we are already see the competition beginning," said McGregor. "We'll get Opportunity checked in soon."