President Obama congratulates Curiosity team
While President Barack Obama congratulated NASA's Curiosity team, he expressed his desire to get a Mohawk just like Bobak Ferdowsi who's become an Internet sensation ever since his photos from mission control hit the web. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times / August 5, 2012)
Members of the team, most of them in light blue polo's, listened intently at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory a week after the landing as the President, aboard Air Force One during a flight to Ouffutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, told them how proud the country was of their work.
"Through your dedication and effort Curiosity stuck her landing and captured the imagination of millions of people," Obama said, "not just across our country, but people all around the world."
Obama also pledged his administration's commitment to fund science and technology efforts in the future.
"This is the kind of thing that inspires kids across the country," Obama said. "Kids across the country are telling mom and dad they want to be part of the Mars mission, maybe even be the first person to walk on Mars."
The team behind Curiosity are an example of "American know how and ingenuity" Obama said.
There were also some light moments during the conversation, with Obama expressing his desire to get a Mohawk just like Bobak Ferdowsi who's become an Internet sensation ever since his photos from mission controll hit the web.
"It does sound like NASA's come a long way from the white shirt, dark rimmed glasses and pocket protectors," Obama said.
Obama also asked that scientists let him know right away if they discovered signs of intelligent life on Mars.
"I've got a lot of other things on my plate, but I suspect that will be on the top of my list," Obama said.
"It's really what makes us best as a species, the curiosity that we have. This yearning to discover and know more and push the boundaries of knowledge," Obama said. "You are perfect examples of that and we couldn't be more grateful to you."