President Barack Obama says last week’s landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars was a “mind-boggling” accomplishment.
And he is urging NASA scientists to let him know right away if the craft happens to see any Martians.
Obama telephoned the Curiosity team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California on Monday as Air Force One flew him to a campaign stop in the state of Iowa.
The car-sized rover landed eight days ago after a complex series of manoeuvrs that involved a huge parachute and cables lowering it to the Mars surface. Its mission includes looking for environmental conditions that might have given rise to life.
Obama says even if Curiosity just finds microbes, it’ll be “pretty exciting.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR CURIOSITY?
The nuclear-powered, six-wheel Curiosity is on a quest to learn whether the Martian environment could have been favourable for microbial life. Before it can drive, it has to…
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