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NASA's Mohawk Guy to sit with FLOTUS at State of the Union

And the tea party invites Ted Nugent. Alrighty.

Life is good for NASA's "Mohawk Guy." He became world famous after helping NASA's huge Curiosity rover make a dramatic landing on Mars, and now he'll sit with first lady Michelle Obama during Tuesday's State of the Union address.

The Iranian-American Mohawk Guy — whose name is Bobak Ferdowsi — will sit in the first lady's box to highlight President Barack Obama's call for more visas for skilled immigrants in the fields of math, science and engineering, Southern California Public Radio reported Monday (Feb. 11).

A White House official confirmed the news to SPACE.com.

Ferdowsi will be joined in the box by a number of other people from various walks of life, whose presence may help the president drive home points about some of his policy proposals. The speech begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST (Feb. 12; 0200 GMT Wednesday). [Gallery: President Obama and NASA]

Ferdowsi's American flag-inspired hairstyle — a red- and blue-streaked mohawk set off by white stars on the side of his head — rocketed the mission flight director to international fame during Curiosity's nail-biting landing on the night of Aug. 5.

In a complex maneuver that had never been tried before on another planet, the 1-ton rover was lowered to the Martian surface on cables by a rocket-powered sky crane, which then flew off and crash-landed intentionally a safe distance away.

The president even gave Ferdowsi a public shout-out shortly after the landing. "I understand there's a special mohawk guy that's working on the mission," President Obama said in a congratulatory call to Curiosity's handlers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Aug. 13. "He's been one of the many stars of the show last Sunday night. I in the past thought about getting a mohawk myself." Ferdowsi is not a mohawk loyalist, however. He said he has tried out various hairstyles over the years to mark major milestones in the development of Curiosity's $2.5 billion mission, which seeks to determine if the Red Planet can, or ever could, support microbial life.

Curiosity carries 10 science instruments, 17 cameras and several other tools to aid in this quest. Over the weekend, it completed a major milestone, drilling a 2.5-inch-deep (6.35 centimeters) hole in a Martian rock and collecting samples. No robot had ever done this on Mars or any other planet before. Ferdowsi also marched in President Obama's inaugural parade last month, along with life-size models of Curiosity and NASA's Orion manned space capsule.

by Anonymousreply 1402/12/2013

Iranian American. Nice subtle diplomacy move. I'm sure that will be highlighted in the press releases sent to the Middle East.

by Anonymousreply 102/11/2013

It is a nice contrast to Iranian nuclear scientists.

by Anonymousreply 202/11/2013

He and his (work) partner were on "Wait, Wait" a while back and were quite entertaining.

by Anonymousreply 302/11/2013

Good God, that man is hot.

by Anonymousreply 402/11/2013

Was his partner on WWDTM the the long-haired hippie guy or the geeky one? The hippie guy is married with teen-aged kid and is an amateur Shakespearean actor. Either way, I love this new template for our heroes.

I know I'm pushing it, but these are the sorts of people I looked up to when I was a kid. Smart, geeky in the most awkward and endearing manner (sometimes) and really diverse. Who had some smarts when the "manhood" didn't quite become the be all and end all.

This the best that America has to offer. PR with the Iranians, whatever, be damned.

by Anonymousreply 502/12/2013

He's a cutie. Good on Michele to have him there.

by Anonymousreply 602/12/2013

1.) There is no shortage of skilled Americans in math and science. They are laid off of their jobs and replaced by cheap immigrant labor through the H1b visa program.

2.) if there really is a shortage of skilled Americans in math and science, do what JFK did. Give government money for students to major in math and science in college. Require the graduates spend a certain number of years working for the government -- NASA, NOAA, state universities, etc -- based on how much money they are given for their education.

by Anonymousreply 702/12/2013

[quote]There is no shortage of skilled Americans in math and science. They are laid off of their jobs and replaced by cheap immigrant labor through the H1b visa program.

You do know that Bobak Ferdowsi is an American born in Pennsylvania, no? Apparently, not. Thank you for your "oversight." Duly noted.

Why do you believe that treating people in such a negative and cunty manner as you do makes them better human beings? Puzzling. Unless you're only input and feedback are from the third world.

by Anonymousreply 802/12/2013

R5 the other guy was Adam Stelzner, a/k/a "Elvis Guy."

by Anonymousreply 902/12/2013

He's got great arms.

by Anonymousreply 1002/12/2013

Mmmm... R8?

READ. THE. ARTICLE.

[quote] The Iranian-American Mohawk Guy — whose name is Bobak Ferdowsi — will sit in the first lady's box [bold] to highlight President Barack Obama's call for more visas for skilled immigrants in the fields of math, science and engineering, [/bold]

Did you get that, you stupid twat?

by Anonymousreply 1102/12/2013

I agree fully with r8, r7. You embarrassed yourself.

by Anonymousreply 1202/12/2013

When is his guest shot on "Shahs of Sunset"?

by Anonymousreply 1302/12/2013

I am so illiterate as to not be able to read his birth place? Philadelphia, cunt at R11? Wouldn't surprise me if you've had some destructive, job-losing fit recently as you self-implode and drink yourself into a swollen-livered demise.

Don't be surprised if no one cares about you, R11. I've seen this sad shit more times than I care to recount among the "distant, yet better guarded" idiot writers who couldn't maintain a human relationship to save their lives. Except that you seem to have forgotten that crapping on human relationships doesn't get you very far. To the contrary, you are an impediment to human growth.

by Anonymousreply 1402/12/2013
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