NASA's Phoenix mission comes to a close

by googler@evpl on Tuesday, November 11 2008, 8:13pm. Viewed 893 times.

Mars surfaceThe Mars lander "Phoenix" has stopped communicating with Earth, after operating for more than five months. Due to the seasons, its solar arrays no longer collect enough energy for it to function. The lander has been busy documenting the surface of the red planet, such as its soil contents, the history of water on Mars, and its weather. Phoenix even got to see some snow falling in the atmosphere.

The Phoenix project also saw another fairly remarkable feat -- NASA's Twitter feed about the robot, written in the first-person partly to save space, gained over 39,000 followers. It's been called "a rare feat of conviviality for an agency more known for its bureaucracy than its cunning P.R. moves." The author of the Phoenix Twitter stream was recently interviewed, and it's a great read. She certainly understands the role of new media in engaging the public.

Twitter, for those who don't know, is a way to broadcast very short updates or news items, sent to people who've chosen to follow the feed, or read by anyone on the account's Twitter page. Updates can arrive to followers through a website or application, much as a blog post does, but it can also be sent to mobile devices and by e-mail.

Do you recommend any Twitter feeds? I'm also following the St. Louis Cardinals and the Positivity Blog.


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Comments (1)

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on Wednesday, November 12 2008, 9:19am

Twitter is quickly becoming an effective, no-cost method of publicity.  Perhaps the EVPL should look into it.