Obama on NASA’s Curiosity


President Barack Obama talks on the phone with NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover team. Photo by Pete Souza

National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Mars Science Laboratory caused a stir earlier this month when its rover named Curiosity landed successfully on Mars. Curiosity- a car-sized, six-wheeled robot equipped with a mass of scientific instruments, landed timely and more accurately than its predecessor robots on Aug. 6, 2012. A week after Curiosity’s landing, President Barack Obama called the NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

The rover is set to spend a number of years exploring the red planet’s surface to assess whether there ever was an habitable environment to support small life forms called microbes. Obama offered his congratulations to the team for their accomplishments while emphasizing the importance of science, technology and engineering innovation and advancements in education.

“As all of you know, my administration has put a big focus on improving science and technology, engineering and math education. And this is the kind of thing that inspires kids across the country.  They’re telling their moms and dads they want to be part of a Mars mission — maybe even the first person to walk on Mars.  And that kind of inspiration is the byproduct of work of the sort that you guys have done.”

Obama’s commitment to improving the fields of science, technology and engineering has always been an integral part of his plan to rebuild the economy. On The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, he stated that in order to invest wisely in our future, we need an economy built on creating and selling products that are made in America. To do so, he pledged to support investments in the basic science and engineering research and technology development from which new products, new businesses and new industries are formed.

The President expressed his commitment and gratitude to the NASA team before concluding his call. “I’m going to give you guys a personal commitment to protect these critical investments in science and technology.  I thank you for devoting your lives to this cause.”


The White House Blog: Remarks by the President to the Mars Mission Laboratory via Telephone
NASA: Mars Science Laboratory
Whitehouse.gov: The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

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