August 6th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Meet 'Mohawk Guy,' star of the Mars landing

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) - Forget Rick Moranis glasses, starchy button-ups and pocket protectors.

Meet the new generation at NASA: Bobak Ferdowsi, better known as "Mohawk Guy." Ferdowsi was spotted wearing a red-and-black mohawk with yellow stars dyed on the sides of his head during the U.S. space agency's overnight landing of its Mars rover, "Curiosity."

The Internet quickly turned him into a meme, superimposing text like "The Mohawk That Landed a Rover on Mars" and "Becomes an Internet sensation ... Too busy landing a robot on Mars to notice" over his images.

In case you'd forgotten, here's what the old guard at NASA looked like:

That's from the Apollo 11 landing.

Maybe the contrast, in part, explains "Mohawk Guy's" popularity.

There's an entire Tumblr blog dedicated to Ferdowsi, and several recreations of his likeness, including one that looks to be done in watercolors (but that might just be Instagram). And BuzzFeed has at least a half-dozen images of him on its site, from "Busy Bobak" to "Teamwork Bobak" and "Talking Bobak," which links to this video of him talking about Saturn (to some really bizarre music).

That's pre-mohawk, of course. It sounds like he changed his hair for this mission:

On Twitter, some people lauded him as the face of a new generation in science:

And just gawked:

A feed that mocks North Korea's leader asked him for help:

Meanwhile, Ferdowsi seems to be a pretty good sport about the whole thing:

For more (and more-serious) info on "Curiosity," check out CNN's news story on the topic. And we have the photos.

Via The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, The Guardian

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Filed under: Culture • Fashion • Science • Space
soundoff (392 Responses)
  1. In home personal training

    I found it nuts that so much attention was casted on 'Mohawk Guy,' The star of the Mars landing, Come on really?

    April 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Reply
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    Earth Is The True Planet Of War, Not Mars (Curiosity Rover)

    August 12, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
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      September 24, 2012 at 1:44 am | Reply
  5. Terri

    Oh and this guy has nothing on hair when compared to Einstein! Genius doesn't care what others think about the way they look! They have more important things to concern themselves with!

    August 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
    • Maureen

      the pictures are great! the black & white ones are amaizng!! i like the face in the purple shirt pic, but not the purple shirt so much the first one w/the blue shirt is really pretty! they are all great images, great job emily and jennifer!!! and yes, someday we'll be going to lincoln center opera to see emily!!!

      August 22, 2012 at 1:53 am | Reply
  6. mmmm

    mmmm he's cute too ;-)

    August 10, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • shahin2102

      He's Iranian.

      *nervously awaiting your reaction*

      August 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Reply
      • felyika

        he s cute and seems smart, but I think ladies need to stop getting high everytime a cute guy is around the corner, and the mohawk makes him looks really cool: cute, intelligent and rebel. Three components to make girls go c r a z y. Sometimes i am ashamed of being a girl, we get so easily distracted and excited, silly :) But he s cute though

        August 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  7. Tom

    This guy is just a small piece of a big system. It's not like he landed the Rover all by himself! Get real people. We get so easily distracted by the bizarre!

    August 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • yeop

      and we have another @ s $ hole who turns a good thing into a bad thing.

      August 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
      • Laila

        What wonderful picterus and presentation to wake-up to in the morning! Thank you Jennifer for offering this wonderful keepsake for my Sydney, Todd and most importantly Finna. May life's rewards be showered upon you now and in the future! Thank you again! Finna's Grandma Sue

        August 22, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Terri

      Bizarre? I see fun, don't see bizarre at all...

      August 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  8. skb8721

    Hey, anything that brings positive attention to NASA is good for NASA . . . so I don't see all the attention that's being given to Mohawk Guy as a bad thing or as a distraction from the rover at all. In fact, Mohawk Guy makes NASA seem very hip and may inspire young people to pay more attention to science and, who knows, perhaps follow in his footsteps career-wise.

    August 9, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Terri

      I realize he changes his hair for big events and may not have this hair all the time but I know so many successful young people with tats, fun hair and funky clothes. They are the awesome geeks and nerds (loving terms, finally) with super intelligence and drive who realize intelligence is about what is inside the brain not outside the body. So glad the pompous days are slowly dying.

      August 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
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      • Manuel

        Ich danke euch beiden h bhecsn. Euer Foto ist schon der Hammer, aber die Karte die ihr mir geschickt habt toppt alles. Das ist die beste Karte die ich jemals bekommen habe.Vielen vielen Dank daf r.

        September 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Naiber

      Vero, ma basta prenderci la mano ci sono tanti di quei comdnai e di combinazioni di tasti che mi sembrava di impazzire, ma era troppo bello sdraiarsi fra l'erba, mimetizzarsi, alzarsi un pochino per guardarsi intorno, avvicinarsi furtivamente dietro a un soldato e con la tecnica del CQC zack!! Era tuo! E lo potevi anche interrogare e spesso ti dava dei trucchetti

      August 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
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