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:
You guys, there is a guy working at NASA who has a mohawk! PUNK SCIENCE!—
Lindsay Pavlas (@LindsayPavlas) August 06, 2012
And just gawked:
NASA Mohawk Guy has stolen my heart—
Katie Tiedrich (@katietiedrich) August 06, 2012
Nice mohawk, control room guy.—
southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) August 06, 2012
+50 points to the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab employee with the mohawk.—
Justin Pickard (@justinpickard) August 06, 2012
A feed that mocks North Korea's leader asked him for help:
URGENT MUST LOCATE NASA DUDE WITH MOHAWK NEED HELP MAKING ROCKET GO FARTHER CONTACT ME ON MYSPACE KTHXBYE—
(@KimJongNumberUn) August 06, 2012
Meanwhile, Ferdowsi seems to be a pretty good sport about the whole thing: