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Live video discussion: Meet the Mars mission 'Mohawk guy'

August 9, 2012 |  7:46 am

A number of traditions were on full display Sunday among the engineers working to successfully land the Mars rover Curiosity -- a "playoff beard" that will go unshaved until the mission ends and lucky trinkets from Mars missions past, to name a few.

But only one has gained notoriety: the red, white and blue mohawk Bobak Ferdowsi, a flight director on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission, wore to work in honor of the landing.

The Times will host a Google+ Hangout on Thursday at 2 p.m. with "Mohawk Guy" Ferdowsi, reporter Amina Khan and City Editor Shelby Grad.

PHOTOS: Mars rover mission

  Ferdowsi creates a new hairstyle for each mission, and when the cameras found the stars-and-stripes-themed mohawk his colleagues voted on for the rover's dramatic landing, he became an instant Internet star.

The NASA engineer's Twitter account rocketed to more than 43,000 followers and an unaffiliated tumblr page called "NASA needs more mohawks," dedicated to re-posting his image, has sprung up.

"Not rdy for the attention, but happy to show it takes all types to make @MarsCuriosity ! If only my coworkers wld stop making fun of me ;)," Ferdowsi tweeted Monday.

We invite you to join in on the conversation by posting comments and questions below or at The Times’ Facebook and Google Plus pages or on Twitter using the #asklatimes hashtag.


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Meet 'Mohawk Guy,' Mars mission's Internet sensation

Curiosity rover hit the perfect spot on Mars, scientists say

-- Samantha Schaefer

Photo: Bobak Ferdowsi, at work in the Spaceflight Operations Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, cuts his hair differently for each mission. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times