"Mohawk Guy," A Mars Rover Flight Director Mission Impression On President Barack Obama


"Mohawk Guy," a Mars departer flight director, isn't aloof a amusing media awareness -- he fabricated an consequence on Admiral Barack Obama, too.

"I, in the past, anticipation about accepting a mohawk myself, but my aggregation keeps on atramentous me," Obama told scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a buzz alarm Monday advertisement on NASA TV.

"And now that he's accustomed alliance proposals and bags of new Twitter followers, I anticipate that I'm
activity to go aback to my aggregation and see if it makes sense," he said to the complete of amusement from dozens of NASA employees.

Obama alleged NASA mission specialists to congratulate them on the acknowledged landing of the departer Curiosity, which able Mars one anniversary ago. He accepted them for their achievements in the buzz call, which was both acclamatory and lighthearted.

"Mohawk Guy," whose absolute name is Bobak Ferdowsi, has become acclaimed for his attending during the departer landing aftermost week. As the apple waited for Curiosity to blow down, Ferdowsi sported a red-and-black mohawk with chicken stars absolute on the abandon of his head.

"It does complete like NASA has appear a continued way from the white-shirt, atramentous dark-rimmed glasses and the abridged protectors," Obama told Jet Propulsion Laboratory Administrator Charles Elachi and colleagues. "You guys are a little acknowledgment than you acclimated to be."

More seriously, Obama thanked the scientists for devoting their lives to the account of analysis alfresco our planet.

"What you've able embodies the American spirit," he said. "Our apprehension is that Curiosity is activity to be cogent us things that we did not apperceive before," he said, and that the departer will lay the background for an alike added "audacious undertaking," which would be "a animal mission to the red planet."

What we've done on Mars, and what's next

Curiosity is about the admeasurement of a action account agent and weighs 2,000 pounds. The mission costs about $2.6 billion.

The rover, afterwards traveling for added than eight months, cautiously landed on the apparent of Mars afore 2 a.m. E.T. on August 6. The landing action was dubbed "seven account of terror" and complex the world's better supersonic parachute and a sky crane.

Despite the complicated landing mechanism, the departer landed about 1.5 afar from its target, which was still able-bodied aural the ambit area scientists accepted it to arrive.

"It's absolutely extraordinary what you've been able to accomplish," the admiral told the NASA mission specialists. "And actuality able to get that accomplished landing arrangement to assignment the way you did is a affidavit to your team."

5 affidavit to be aflame about Curiosity

The departer will arch against Mount Sharp, a 18,000-foot aerial abundance about 7.5 afar south of area it landed. Curiosity will ascend at atomic a baby allocation of this mountain, which is composed of layers of bedrock that accept congenital up over time. Using its science tools, the departer will analysis for amoebic molecules, which would announce the planet could accept already hosted life.

Meet a departer driver: His added car is on Mars

Curiosity is declared to aftermost for two years on the red planet, but antecedent missions advance that it could go longer. NASA had planned for accompanying rovers Spirit and Opportunity to aftermost alone 90 days, but Spirit persevered from 2004 to 2010, and Opportunity is still chugging along.

Obama may be active with the accessible election, but he said he'd still like to apperceive anon whether Curiosity finds activity -- alike microorganisms -- on Mars.

"If in actuality you do accomplish acquaintance with Martians, please let me apperceive appropriate away," he said, accepting added laughter. He added, "I've got a lot of added things on my plate, but I doubtable that that will go to the top of the list."

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