NASA today released this nifty "movie," stitching together the high-resolution images of the Curiosity landing on Mars and adding audio from controllers.
Incidentally, NPR's Monkey See blog pays appropriate homage today to the Twitter account for Curiosity...
Honestly, when any large organization starts a Twitter account, it's easy for it to seem like it's being run from a boardroom or the marketing department, but the Curiosity feed sounds, well, human. It has a voice, which is a very different thing from just having a brand. Curiosity seems to have pals - Neil deGrasse Tyson and Mythbusters - who are just the ones you'd expect, but she also follows will.i.am and just about everyone with any connection to Star Trek. She comes off as a sort of smarty-pants enthusiast herself, having tweeted about things other than the mission - the PBS Mr. Rogers remix, for instance, which is just what the science nerds Curiosity is cultivating were talking about at the time.
Curiosity is full of surprises. She posts a picture of the tracks of a turn and references the Electric Slide. And in my favorite Curiosity tweet ever, she says, "Yes, I've got a laser beam attached to my head. I'm not ill tempered; I zapped a rock for science." She appends a photo, then adds the hashtag #MSL for the Mars Science Lab, and then this: "#PewPew." Face it: that is the cutest rover making phonetic laser noises you are ever going to see.
I stayed up late the night the rover landed by chance and became completely smitten with the whole thing. The great people with personalities who worked the mission, the tweets from Curiosity, the videos and images. Wonderful stuff. I have to admit that just days before the landing I was complaining about giving money to NASA instead of other things, but now I'm a true believer. Good on NASA. I wish other government agencies had such great outward presence.
Wow. Suddenly Mars doesn't seem quite so far away.