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Listen to Obama's Phone Call to JPL Mars Rover Team (Video)

Check out the morning's video from Jet Propulsion Laboratory where President Barack Obama phones in to praise the Curiosity Mars rover team for its "mind boggling'' accomplishment last week.

President Barack Obama phoned Monday, congratulating the Curiosity Mars rover team for its "dedicated efforts'' and "incredible success.''

During the approximately seven-minute call, the president told the room full of engineers that successfully landing the rover on the Red Planet embodies the American spirit.

"Through your dedicated efforts, Curiosity stuck the landing and caputured the attention and imagination of millions of people - not just people across our country, but all around the world,'' Obama said.

Watch the video with audio of the president speaking to the team here. 

"What you did on Mars was incredibly impressive,'' he said, noting the 76 pyrotechnics and 500,000 lines of code that were involved in the landing sequence.  

Joking that scientists and engineers have come a long way since flat tops and pocket protectors, Obama said, "You guys are a little cooler than you used to be,'' referencing flight director Bobak Ferdowsi, whose popularity exploded on the Internet after he rocked a star-studded mohawk during the landing. 

Obama pointed out that is the kind of thing that inspires kids to tell their moms and dads they want to become engineers and scientists, and possibly even strive to be the first person to walk on Mars, he said. 

The president's call comes a week after Curiosity landed on the Red Planet. The rover carries the most advanced science payload ever used on Mars' surface, according to JPL. During the next two years, it will use its 10 instruments to investigate whether life has existed there. 

Curiosity was designed, developed and assembled at JPL, which also is where the rover's mission control is located.

B Ulm August 13, 2012 at 09:43 PM
We should all be incredibly proud of their accomplishments as a nation, and as part of the global community of man that feels proud whenever another human accomplishes something truly inspiring. Beyond the innovations and tehnology opportunities that will likely come out of this mission, as the President called out, one of the best "side effects" would be inspiring our nation's young to become engaged in science and discovery to become the next generation of engineers and scientists. Well done!
Deep Space August 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Earth Is The True Planet Of War, Not Mars (Curiosity Rover) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj5ju9ag2ZI
T. L. Shryock August 15, 2012 at 01:50 AM
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet." "The point is, when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires."

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