Reddit users aren't the only ones who have a thing for Bobak Ferdowsi, the 32-year-old "Mohawk guy" who worked on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover landing. Monday, President Barack Obama joked he's been thinking about emulating him.
Ferdowsi was "one of the many stars of the show last Sunday night," when the rover landed, Obama said in a televised phone call with scientists of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, the group who designed and landed the rover.
"In the past, I've thought about getting a mohawk myself, but my team keeps discouraging me," he joked. "Now that he's received marriage proposals and thousands of new Twitter followers, I'll have to go back to my team and see if it makes sense."
The $2.5 billion rover landed early last Monday morning and Ferdowsi quickly became the star of the show. The MIT graduate is JPL's flight director and quickly became an Internet sensation due to his stars-and-stripes red mohawk.
By nearly all accounts, the Curiosity mission has thus far been a resounding success. The rover has already beamed back several photos of the planet and is trying to detect life. Obama told the NASA scientists to keep him informed and that the Curiosity mission is "laying the groundwork … for a manned mission to the red planet."
"If in fact, you do make contact with Martians, please let me know right away," he said. "I've got a lot of things on my plate, but if there is [life on Mars], I suspect that'll go to the top of my list."
Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
- One Giant Leap: Falling to Earth From The Edge of Space
- Skydiver Fearless Felix jumps from 18 miles up
- Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.