I caught up with Bobak to learn more about his rise to online stardom, his eccentric hairstyles, and, of course, what it takes to land on Mars.
Curiosity is the most advanced mobile robotic science lab to ever explore another planet and thus this is an exciting moment for NASA and the world. But robotics and artificial intelligence continue to advance at an exponential rate.
Let's take a look back at our discoveries about Mars and the many missions of NASA and others that have brought us to this amazing time in history.
Lost in the fray is the simple salient fact that Greenland is losing more and more of its ice to the sea every year. These latest findings, unprecedented or not, don't change the fact that this melt season is one more in a longstanding trend of increasingly higher melt seasons.
Arriving as it will on the heels of the Olympics, Curiosity will continue the flow of good kind of news we have been witnessing from London to the people of Earth. The mission represents the kind of news we want to hear and see, the kind of news that inspires us.
Plutonium has long been described as the most lethal radioactive substance. And the plutonium isotope used on the Curiosity rover is significantly more radioactive than the type of plutonium used in nuclear weapons or built up as a waste product in nuclear power plants.
Women have become "common" in space flight - except that the total number of spacenauts who are women is still 11% of the total.
The Mars race is about human survival and understanding our place in a vast and terrifyingly beautiful universe. And the stories of its athletes (mathletes?) should be world-class, because they accomplish near-impossible tasks on a cosmic scale -- the hardest sport you could ever compete in.
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I pray my twelve-year-old nephew Joel who, among his four siblings, is known as "the science guy," will be inspired by Sally Ride's life and example. She's a role model for boys, too.
I hope that this great American hero -- the woman who inspired a generation of girls to reach for the stars in math and science -- will also inspire a generation of LGBT youth to reach for the stars in their lives and relationships.
Who knows if Sally Ride thought of herself as lesbian or bisexual? Or what she felt about the debate around same-sex marriage?
Sally Ride helped to change what the word "astronaut" could mean, and generations of girls have grown up with different ideas about what they could be because of her example.
Discrimination is not an American success story, nor is there anything "great" about it. Sally Ride -- astronaut, pioneer, teacher, writer and devoted lesbian partner for 27 years -- now there's a great American success story.
About eight months ago, a NASA Atlas V rocket launched the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity toward its August 5 encounter with the Red Planet. Now, just a few weeks before the rover is set to land, people are starting to get nervous and excited.