US President Barack Obama today congratulated NASA for Curiosity's successful Mars landing last week, adding, "If in fact you do make contact with martians, please let me know right away," according to The Wall Street Journal.
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"I've got a lot of other things on my plate, but I suspect that that would go to the top of the list, even if they're just microbes," Obama told the astronauts by phone from Air Force One while on his way to Iowa. The Curiosity team on the other end of the line laughed (but "if you look very carefully, one or two lips offered a slightly nervous turn," according to CNET).
Obama described Curiosity's August 6 landing -- the most complicated and expensive robotic Mars venture to date -- as "mind-boggling," reported WSJ, going on to praise the team for a project that he said captivated the world.
Massive crowds turned out to watch the landing live in New York City, and the event was followed minute-by-minute by news organizations and blogs across the world.
Curiosity wasn't the only thing drawing attention. NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi has gained quite a following for his Mohawk hairstyle style, so much so that Obama himself mentioned it today.
“I understand there’s a special Mohawk Guy that’s working on the mission,” Obama said, according to WSJ. “He’s been one of the many stars of the show last Sunday night. And I, in the past, thought about getting a Mohawk myself but my team keeps on discouraging me. And now that he’s received marriage proposals and thousands of new Twitter followers, I think that I’m going to go back to my team and see if it makes sense.”
Curiosity is set to travel across Mars for the next two years. President Obama is unlikely to get a Mohawk.