In which the President calls the NASA’S Mars Science Laboratory “Curiosity” Rover Team, and calls out Mohawk Guy
THE PRESIDENT: Your hard work is now paying dividends, because our expectation is that “Curiosity” is going to be telling us things that we did not know before and laying the groundwork for an even more audacious undertaking in the future, and that’s a human mission to the Red Planet.
I understand there’s a special Mohawk Guy that’s working on the mission. He’s been one of the many stars of the show last Sunday night. And I, in the past, thought about getting a mohawk myself—but my team keeps on discouraging me. 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.
DR. ELACHI: That’s going to be the new fashion at JPL.
THE PRESIDENT: It does sound like NASA has come a long way from the white shirt, black dark-rimmed glasses and the pocket protectors. You guys are a little cooler than you used to be.
“I’m going to make a special plea to the press—not just the folks who are here, but also your editors—give this some attention. This is the kind of stuff, what these young people are doing, that’s going to make a bigger difference in the life of our country over the long term than just about anything. And it doesn’t belong just on the back pages of a newspaper; we’ve got to lift this up. We’ve got to emphasize how important this is and recognize these incredible young people who are doing things that I couldn’t even imagine thinking about at 5th grade or 8th grade or in high school.
And so pay attention to this. This is important. This is what’s going to make a difference in this country over the long haul. This is what inspires me and gets me up every day. This is what we should be focusing on in our public debates.
And as for all the folks who are here, don’t let your robots wander off anywhere.”
—President Obama at the White House Science Fair, announcing a new goal of 1 million more American graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math over the next 10 years