NASA is really going out of its way to get attention these days. First it was their parody video “NASA Johnson Style”, and now the Mars rover Curiosity is set to ring in the New Year as the ball drops in New York Times Square.
As noted by SlashGear, the Curiosity mission has been using social media more than some people, with the Mars rover even “checking in” on Foursquare back in October. Curiosity used the social location service to check in to Gale Crater, where it made its landing in August, according to PC Mag.
It’s not solid exactly what Curiosity has up her sleeve for tonight. It could be a live stream of Mars or just a quick pre-recorded video of the rover on the prowl on the Red Planet, says Slashgear.
NASA has really been celebrating Curiosity’s travels this year. From the famous “7 minutes of terror” marking the ultimate descent of the rover to the Martian surface, to the unlikely celebrity of Bobak Ferdowski, the “Mohawk Guy,” to the ongoing stream of data and imagery being sent back from Mars, Curiosity has engaged the public and helped rejuvenate the space agency following the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011.
Will you be in @timessquarenyc for New Year’s Eve? Look for a special message from Mars on the giant Toshiba screens.
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) December 31, 2012
Science praised the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft’s “sky crane” landing system, for its ability to lower the three-ton rover to the Martian surface at the end of its nearly-year-long trip from Earth. That’s quite an accomplishment, as it’s never been done before to our knowledge.
Curiosity landed in Gale Crater on August 6, no doubt to the raucous cheering of NASA engineers, and had an original mission duration extending into 2014. Though earlier this month, NASA officials theorized that they could possibly continue the mission for another 55 years or more.
If you happen to be in Times Square when the ball drops, check the “giant Toshiba screens” for a message from our mechanical buddy on Mars.