2517: Rover Replies

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Rover Replies
I'm so glad NASA let you take your phone to Mars!
Title text: I'm so glad NASA let you take your phone to Mars!


There is a Twitter account for NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover, which collected samples. The Twitter account tweets in the first person like in the comic. Likely a human on earth is playing the role of the rover.[citation needed] While the exact post shown does not exist, it has posted a similar tweet.

The first four replies (in order of top-to-bottom) are likely just general compliments to the rover, demonstrating that the replies are indeed wholesome. Reply three in particular references rocks, as the main purpose of most Mars rovers is to perform Martian geology.

Reply five is a mashup of conspiracy theories, including about 5G communications, vaccines, and others. Ponytail then replies "Quiet, we're not doing that here", scolding the conspiracy theorist to keep their negativity out of the otherwise positive forum.

The next reply references people saying where they're from, then clarifying where that is in brackets, e.g. Wingerworth (England). This commenter expands that to clarify that they are from Earth, joking that the planet may be ambiguous as the Mars rover is not on Earth. In reality, this ambiguity does not exist as humans only live on Earth,[citation needed] thus contributing to the humor.

The second-to-last reply is likely a misunderstanding, with the commenter believing that the rover is digging to perform anthropology or paleontology, not geology. The commenter could, however, believe that there is/was complex life on Mars, thus allowing the possibility that there are Martian skeletons for the rover to find.

The final reply is a reference to Ingenuity, a small helicopter which Perseverance took to Mars as a technology demonstrator. It has been very successful and completed many flights, often taking it quite far from Perseverance.

The title text is in the form of another reply. The character posting that reply believes that the rover has taken its phone to Mars, and has used that to take the pictures. This is likely because most photos on social media are taken on phones, and social media sites are often designed for phones. In addition, Perseverance and Curiosity differ from previous rovers in that they have cameras mounted on flexible arms, allowing them to take photographs of themselves - somewhat akin to a smartphone on a selfie-stick. In reality, Mars rovers don't have smartphones, and Perseverance is taking photos with an equipped camera.

While this comic is most likely referencing Perseverance, there is another small possibility that Curiosity is shown here, as Curiosity also has collected samples. This is unlikely though due to the timing of this comic.


[A post of a rocky landscape and a close-up of a rock is next to a profile picture of the camera of a Mars rover.]
Just collected a sample!
[Comments below. Each comment has an icon of a person or other image next to it and an illegible name above the comment.]
[face of Cueball-like character]: These pictures are great!
[curved lines]: I'm so proud of you
[Cueball-like stick figure]: Wow you know a lot about rocks
[Megan]: Go go go go go!
[spiral galaxy-like image]: More propaganda from NASA's 5G vaccine microchip factory
[Ponytail]: Quiet, we're not doing that here
[unidentified stick figure]: Hello from Missouri (Earth)!
[Hairy]: Did you find any skeletons yet
[Blondie]: I hope your helicopter comes back!
[Caption below frame:]
The most unexpectedly wholesome place on the internet is the replies to NASA's rovers on social media.
comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Hi! I have added most of the description, but this is my first major edit so could someone please review it? Thank you! SqueakSquawk4 (talk) 16:19, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

I checked out the linked account. First reply to it that I saw was dramatically lamenting about the rover account being a mockery of "proper scientific communication", second reply I saw was sneering at the rover and claiming SpaceX would build Mars bases or something while NASA was "playing with rocks". I don't want to read any more comments. All I can say is that my experience with the rover replies was not the wholesome experience that was promised. 17:09, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

I too am disappointed. Poor Rover is not getting the enthusiasm that Rover deserves... Thisfox (talk) 05:12, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
Maybe we should take this as a call to action and go give the rover the love it deserves. 14:56, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

I think the title text may also be assuming that the rover is using its phone to post the tweets. Barmar (talk)

Also, Perseverance has a camera mounted on a flexible arm as opposed to previous rovers' mast mounted cameras, allowing it to take pictures of itself. That could give the impression that it is taking selfies with a phone. I understand that the next generation of rovers will be equipped to make duckface. 12:49, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

I'm torn between the anti-conspiracy response being basically "We don't want you trollers here, let us have our happy shiny place" at an intruder or "This is considered holy ground, and we shall all be back trolling elsewhere shortly..." directed at a shitposting-padawan who hasn't learnt the subtleties of (mis)behaviour from the more experienced ones. 20:46, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

I hadn't considered it before, but I am now fully supportive of it pointing out that the conspiracy is not actually wrong, merely incorrectly attributed, or even just that the factory isn't on Mars. 18:07, 21 September 2021 (UTC)

This comic follows exactly same template as 202:_YouTube, 1836:_Okeanos, 2159:_Comments. Also it is kind of related to these review comics 1803:_Location_Reviews, 1869:_Positive_and_Negative_Reviews, 937:_TornadoGuard. Even less related but still a similar structure 1689:_My_Friend_Catherine, 1085:_ContextBot, 1031:_s/keyboard/leopard/, 2015:_New_Phone_Thread. Probably not enough for a separate category such as Internet comments but maybe in the future. CryptoNut1269 (talk) 17:43, 21 September 2021 (UTC)

"We're not doing it here" could mean either that it is a comical reply mening it is not NASA that has the factories or that NASA doesn't have them "here" (on Mars). Could someone with better English skills expand if you agree on my interpretation. BR 06:38, 22 September 2021 (UTC)

"Missouri (Earth)" may also be a reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see https://marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com/wiki/Missouri) CD

it's kinda sweet. idk what this has to do with conspiracies tho... Z1mp0st0rz (talk) 20:12, 11 April 2024 (UTC)