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A Sarcastic Mars Rover Shows Us Why Space Robots Are Important

By Mark Young, SouthFloridaReporter.com Managing Editor, Aug 7, 2015 – There are millions of twitter accounts. Business’s have them, celebrities have them, even zoo animal escapees have them – but a robot? Yes, a robot with an attitude. Once you read the article below, you’ll probably do the same as I did, click FOLLOW.

By Matthew Francis, Forbes – Three years ago, a real rover — Curiosity, part of the Mars Science Laboratory  — landed on Mars, while @SarcasticRover landed on Twitter. The Twitter account, run by Jason Filiatrault, has gathered 134,000 followers and posted more than 5,000 mostly snarky comments. Those range from how boring Mars is, ennui over being stuck on a planet with nobody to talk to, general humorous commentary on life, and even a mixture of science promotion. If you’re on Twitter, go follow. If not, go read the “rover”‘s first-person account at TIME Magazine.


Filiatrault’s project is a labor of love, and while it isn’t endorsed by NASA, it’s not the only Twitter presence for space probes. In fact, Filiatrault was inspired to start @SarcasticRover when he saw the official @MarsCuriosity account posting in the first person. My colleague Rachel Feltman wrote an excellent post in homage to Sarcastic Rover, including an interview with Filiatrault, which you should go read. (Go on ahead; I’ll wait.) Today also marks the one-year anniversary of the arrival of the Rosetta mission at Comet 67P, which has two Twitter accounts: @ESA_Rosetta and Philae2014, for the probe and its lander, respectively. Both these accounts post in the first person as well, with the Philae posts being particularly poignant when the lander lost touch with Earth after its landing went awry last fall. (It doesn’t hurt that the most common image any of us saw of Philae was the really adorable cartoon version.)

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