15 Fun Facts About NASA's Mission to Mars
Dek: With the successful landing of the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars, NASA was once again in the national spotlight. The rover's mission—to determine if life as we know it on Earth ever existed on the red planet—is under way, and Curiosity is sending back data and riveting photographs. During a congratulatory phone call to NASA engineers, President Obama lauded the mission as a "mind-boggling" success. "If, in fact, you do make contact with Martians," the president advised, "please let me know right away." And the Curiosity isn't the only star of NASA's latest show. Systems engineers like Bobak Ferdowsk, who sported a Mohawk during the Curiosity's much-watched landing, are becoming science celebrities. Here Baseline takes a look inside NASA's mission to Mars and at some of the technology that powers the Curiosity, compiled from news accounts from Reuters, Space.com and NASA.