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Curiosity lands on Mars, Internet throws a party

It took eight years of planning and eight months of interplanetary travel to make Mars rover Curiosity an overnight sensation on the Internet. Now this mighty accomplishment by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory — landing the 1-ton craft in the 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer-wide) Gale Crater on the Red Planet — is all we can tweet, Tumblr and make memes about. From Curiosity's Twitter account to
http://xkcd.com/1091/ / Today

It took eight years of planning and eight months of interplanetary travel to make Mars rover Curiosity an overnight sensation on the Internet. Now this mighty accomplishment by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory — landing the 1-ton craft in the 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer-wide) Gale Crater on the Red Planet — is all we can tweet, Tumblr and make memes about. From Curiosity's Twitter account to Wil Wheaton's Google+ page to one mission flight director's sweet Mohawk, here's what we're obsessing about on this auspicious day.

Curiosity Rover took to Twitter to announce its arrival, and reference a popular meme attributed to Nerd King (and former "Star Trek: The Next Generation" ensign) Wil Wheaton.

https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity/status/232348380431544320 / Today

Wheaton took to Google+ to debunk his role in the meme, as perpetrated by, among countless others, the awesome Bad Astronomer Philip Plait (who's made a career out of debunking stuff).

https://plus.google.com/108176814619778619437#108176814619778619437/posts / Today

Bad Astronomer did point out the hidden Mars Rover in today's Google Doodle. (Can you spot it? If you can't, you might have gotten a blimp instead. Some people got blimps.)

Google / Today

And in another shout out to our pal Philip, he pointed to this Mars-inspired xkcd: a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language. Hint: Your excuse for anything today ...

http://xkcd.com/1091/ / Today

The entire Internet fell in love with NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi, thanks to his sassy side-starred Mohawk (which, turns out, changes for each mission). His delightful Twitter account @tweetsoutloud has gone from less than 200 followers to more than 22,000 since Ferdowsi and his hairdo first emerged, and perhaps not surprisingly, there's a rapidly growing Tumblr dedicated just to him.

http://www.dailydot.com/news/bobak-ferdowski-nasa-mohawk-mars-meme/ / Today

Ferdowsi's fame peaked when our own Alan Boyle totally interviewed him for Cosmic Log! (Spoiler alert: He's even more charming in person.)

Twitter / Today

Oreo once again tormented us via Twitter with another concept cookie, like the Gay Pride Oreo, which will never come to to a grocery store near you:

https://twitter.com/Oreo/status/232264730700566528/photo/1 / Today

Bringing the same creativity to photo caption quotes that anthropomorphize animals and make me actually somewhat interested in sports, BuzzFeed gave us an instant replay of every emotion at the Mars Science Laboratory via wire photos. Our favorite:

\"Hey, where did my robot go OH LOOK THERE IT IS, ON A DIFFERENT PLANET\"
\"Hey, where did my robot go OH LOOK THERE IT IS, ON A DIFFERENT PLANET\"Reuters via BuzzFeed / Today

Also, Bill Nye the Science Guy's reaction to the Mars landing caught on camera, from Planetfest 2012.

Then, because it's the Internet, SarcasticRover arrived on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/sarcasticrover / Today

Over on Tumblr, Japhey Grant asked "What's your favorite Mars-based literature/film/etc?"

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein / Today

While actual working scientists who can do math in their heads often cite the Mars trilogy (about settlement and terraforming, including formulas), Japhy feels the same as me:

My vote’s for "Stranger in a Strange Land" — which taught me only a very little bit about mars, but a lot about sex, grocking, politics and how Mormons and hippies are pretty much the same, at least according to Robert Heinlein.

From BoingBoing, one of the first images back from Mars contained this evidence of alien life — buried by the government, for the obvious reasons.

http://boingboing.net/2012/08/06/meanwhile-in-space.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter / Today

 

The excitement didn't just happen on the Internet or in outer space — here's the scene in Time Square in New York City, at the moment Curiosity touched red soil.

https://twitter.com/rob_sheridan/status/232383899240636416 / Today

 Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job  on  Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+.

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