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The secret of the Mars rover's Twitter success: 'keeping it real'

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The Curiosity rover's popular Twitter feed is manned by three NASA employees, whose irreverence helps to give the craft its distinctive online persona.

Curiosity Rover B&W Shadow
Curiosity Rover B&W Shadow

Even before the successful landing of NASA's Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars last week, the machine's official Twitter account was by far the most entertaining way to keep track of its progress — unknown to many of Curiosity's 971,000 followers, the rover has been tweeting since November 2008, when it was still being built. Forbes has spoken to the three NASA employees charged with maintaining the feed, who claim that the secret of its success is "keeping it real." While not quite as irreverent as its parodic doppelganger, the official Curiosity account is always up for a joke, an attitude exemplified in tweets such as the following:

In between posting vital announcements and breathtaking pictures from the surface of Mars, Curiosity has latched on to popular memes among its followers, even finding the time to tweet about famously mohawked Flight Director Bobak Ferdowsi. Check out the Forbes article for more about the planning and strategy that goes into Curiosity's seemingly effortless online persona.