Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:20 pm
We can't help but tune into the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's daily news conference about NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.
For the most part, it's very much inside baseball. The scientists talk about the nitty gritty details of getting the Curiosity Rover going and onto doing some science. They talk about reorienting antennas and about how a higher-than-predicted temperature won't have a significant effect on the mission.
Yes, it was an amazing landing, an engineering triumph, a 150-million-mile slam dunk, spectacular in every way, except ... I think my grandpa would be disappointed. I'm not sure of this, since he died 50 years ago, but I have a hunch.
It starts with a handwritten letter he wrote back in 1907. He was a travelling salesman. He sold men's hats, and his job was to visit retailers all over the country. "One evening," he wrote, "train riding between Chicago and Kansas City or St. Louis, sitting the club car, I read a magazine, The Century..."
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. While NASA put a rover on Mars, audiences were riveted by the high- stakes landing, and also by some high hair. Bobak Ferdowsi was on the mission control team when suddenly, his haircut made him famous. It's a mohawk, streaked in red and with stars dyed on the sides of his head.
"Mohawk Guy" has become an Internet star. He says he gets a new haircut for each mission, with colleagues voting on the design.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.