Obama cheers 'mind-boggling' Curiosity mission

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Associated Press

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 13 at 2:02 PM

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — President Barack Obama says last week's landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars was a "mind-boggling" accomplishment.

And he's 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 Pasadena, Calif., on Monday as Air Force One flew him to a campaign stop in Iowa.

The car-sized rover landed eight days ago after a complex series of maneuvers 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."

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