Policy: November 2008 Archives

Mars lander showed a human side, so fans took 'death' personally, Arizona Star

"What began as a way for people to stay engaged with the mission during its landing over Memorial Day weekend soon morphed into a phenomenon in which those working on educating the public about the mission were posing as the lander itself, responding with a distinct voice and personality. "It certainly evolved," Veronica McGregor, a spokeswomen for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who crafted the "voice" of Phoenix, said of the lander's online personality. "We really thought that this would be a nice way for people to keep up with the mission, but we didn't expect this kind of response. ... Writing on Gizmodo, McGregor tried to rationalize Phoenix's demise."

Editor's note: I asked Veronica McGregor if she could provide me links to NASA's versions of these articles on Gizmodo. Given that she works for NASA PAO, her writings as part of her PAO activities are in the public domain. Despite several email requests, she never responded to my request for the text - or provided a reason why NASA never linked to these articles she wrote.

Editor's update: After three emails spanning 11 days (with others at NASA PAO cc:ed), and a posting on NASA Watch, Veronica finally replied telling me where the stories I had requested were posted. It would seem that they were added just yesterday since Google has yet to even index them. Yet they were provided (exclusively) to Gizmodo more than a week and a half ago.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Policy category from November 2008.

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