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Obama praises Mars rover Curiosity team, 'Mohawk Guy'

August 14, 2012 |  7:10 am

President Obama's call Monday to the Mars rover Curiosity team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was all about serious scientific issues. The president called Mars Science Laboratory mission team members “examples of American know-how and ingenuity.”

But Obama also weighed in on the meteoric rise of Bobak Ferdowsi, also known to his fans as "Mohawk Guy." Ferdowsi, a flight director for the Mars mission, sported a striking stars-and-stripes hairdo for the historic landing of the rover, catching the eye of countless viewers who watched the Mars landing via live stream on the evening of Aug. 5.

PHOTOS: Mars rover mission

“I, in the past, thought about getting a mohawk myself –- but my team keeps on discouraging me,” Obama told the JPL staff, to much laughter.  “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.”

The president congratulated the scientists' advancing fashion sense along with their more-advanced rover. 

INTERACTIVE: Curiosity, from liftoff to landing

"It does sound like NASA has come a long way from the white shirt, black dark-rimmed glasses and the pocket protectors," the president joked. "You guys are a little cooler than you used to be."

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--Amina Khan

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