Phoenix twittering from Mars

May 31st, 2008

MarsPhoenix is twittering from the North polar region of Mars.

Here’s a great picture of my deployed arm with the scoop on the end: I can’t wait to dig in the dirt next week. 10:14 PM May 29, 2008 from web

Phoenix is even carrying on conversations with some of its more than 10,000 followers.

@infoholic Yup, I can dig into frozen ground as hard as concrete. The scoop has special blades and a powered “rasp” to scrape ice. Cool! 11:09 PM May 29, 2008 from web in reply to infoholic

My first thought was that I wouldn’t want to be there when NASA gets the cell phone bill for little Phoenix. But then I read the story in the NYT, Phoenix to Earthlings: I’ve Landed! Awesome!, and found that,like a lot of important entities, Phoenix has people who do this for it.

“For users of Twitter, a Web microblogging service, the Phoenix Mars lander has been sending pithy news “tweets” to the cellphones and computers of interested ‘followers.’ As of late Friday, the Phoenix lander had 9,636 followers at Twitter, more than triple the number of a week earlier. According to, it ranks No. 30 among all Twitter feeds in the solar system.

Of course, the messages are not coming from Mars. Instead, Veronica McGregor, the news services manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has been playing the part of Phoenix each night after she gets home from work, forwarding questions to the science team and then posting answers.”