Mars rover Curiosity
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Mars tweets: Curiosity rover's online persona

"It once was a small step... now it's six big wheels."

So tweeted NASA rover Curiosity following its landing on Mars in early August.

Since then the irreverent Twitter account @MarsCuriosity has reached over one million followers, attracting people with playful humour in the name of science.

Three women are behind Curiosity's social media presence, working out of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.

They manage social media for 20 projects and missions at NASA. At a time when NASA's mission is changing, they believe social media could prove a useful tool in fostering public interest.

Produced by the BBC's David Botti

Photo/video: Getty Images and NASA/JPL-Caltech