N.W.T. Tourism capitalizes on Yellowknife's Mars fame

Northwest Territories Tourism has launched a new marketing campaign for Yellowknife based on its namesake on Mars.

Spot where Curiosity rover landed named after N.W.T. capital

Justin Maki, Mars Science Laboratory Imaging Scientist, JPL, left, and Jordan Evans Engineering Development and Operations Manager, MSL JPL, look at image sets from NASA's Curiosity rover and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo)

Northwest Territories Tourism has launched a new marketing campaign for Yellowknife based on its namesake on Mars.

NASA named the spot on Mars where the Curiosity rover landed Aug. 5 after the N.W.T. capital because it is the rover’s jumping off point to explore the planet’s ancient geology, just as Yellowknife is a similar gateway for scientists studying some of Earth’s oldest rocks.

Now N.W.T. Tourism has launched a photo contest asking people to submit photos of Yellowknifers visiting Mars’ Yellowknife or Martians visiting the territory's capital.

"Naming a location on Mars 'Yellowknife', we just see this as winning the lottery of media coverage," said Brian Desjardins, executive director of N.W.T. Tourism.

"We knew we had to capitalize on this. The whole idea of submitting a photo of a Yellowknifer visiting Yellowknife on Mars or vice versa, we knew with just that idea that probably and most likely we'll get some pretty fun photos submitted."

Entries will be posted on the N.W.T. Tourism’s Facebook page and other social media sites.

The winners will receive a $100 VISA gift card.