NASA's most meme-friendly Mars rover flight director, Bobak Ferdowsi, 32, also known as "Mohawk Guy," shot to stardom last weekend when the press covering the rover Curiosity's successful touchdown zeroed in on his eye-catching, stars-and-stripes hairstyle.
Over the next 24 hours, Mohawk Guy inspired a Tumblr, received several online marriage proposals and at last count, had more than 50,000 Twitter followers. Now it seems, even POTUS has jumped on the mohawk band wagon.
President Obama reached out to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a phone call Monday, broadcast on NASA TV.
"I understand there is a special mohawk guy working on the mission," Obama said. "I thought about getting a mohawk myself but my team keeps on discouraging me. Now that he's received marriage proposals and thousands of twitter followers, I'm now going to go back to my team and see if it makes sense."
Ferdowsi, who changes his hair for every mission, told Wired that he expected the past week to be crazy, but that henever expected to be the subject of so much viral publicity.
"I sort of thought this week was just going to be dealing with the emotions of landing," Ferdowsi said in a phone interview. "But to find out late Sunday, early Monday morning that all of the sudden people were really interested in me, that was totally surreal."
During the Monday call, the president also commented on the increased coolness of the NASA control room.
"It does sound like NASA has come a long way from the white-shirt, black dark-rimmed glasses and the pocket protectors," he said. He also congratulated the team again on the success of the mission.
Following a 354-million-mile journey, Curiosity touched down in a Martian crater at 10:32 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5.
Here's how @darth envisions a possible Obama tribute mohawk: