NASA astronaut and International Space Station Commander Doug Wheelock became the first person to "check in" from space Friday using the mobile social networking application:
When Wheelock checked in to the space station venue using Foursquare's mobile site, he received a message that revealed a new Foursquare badge:
"You are now 220 miles above Earth traveling at 17,500 mph and unlocked the NASA Explorer Badge! Show this badge and get a free scoop of astronaut ice cream."
When Wheelock completes his mission and returns to Earth at the end of November, the NASA Explorer badge will be available for Foursquare users to earn.
"Check-ins from around the world have been cool, but this blew my mind!" said Dennis Crowley, CEO and co-founder of Foursquare. "We're psyched to partner with NASA to help users explore the space program and the universe."
Foursquare users check in to venues wherever they go using the service to find nearby friends; get helpful tips about the places they're visiting; and be challenged and rewarded for experiencing new things.
As result of the partnership, Foursquare users who check in to a NASA-related venue will find information from NASA about the location. For example, someone checking in at the agency's headquarters in Washington will discover that a replica of NASA astrophysicist John Mather's Nobel Prize is on display in the lobby.
I can boast that I just became the mayor of KIAH TV Channel 39 on Foursquare. My thing doesn't quite match up to Wheelock's though.
By the way, space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to begin an 11-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 3:40pm Monday, Nov. 1, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-133 mission is Discovery's final scheduled flight.