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Is there life on Mars? Barack Obama to NASA: Tell me if you find Martians!
Curiosity in the lab
Mars landing scheme Curiosity
Curiosity Mars images 501
President Barack Obama asked on a joking tone researchers from NASA, Monday, who successfully sent the robot Curiosity to Mars, to update him with the progress of the mission and to report immediately if they find traces of life on red planet.
"If you ever get in contact with Martians, please inform me immediately", Obama joked, during a conference call with scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. At that time, U.S. President was aboard Presidential plane Air Force One.
"I have many other things at the moment, but I think this would come first. Even if it is all about microbes, will be very interesting", continued President Obama.
Curiosity, which arrived safely on Mars last week, after descending of high-risk, is looking for possible traces of life on the closest planet to Earth. U.S. rover gathers also information for future space missions on Mars, which will have humans on board.
Curiosity will arrange a scientific laboratory on the halfway of Sharp Mountain, a massive Martian of 5,500 meters high, inside Gale crater, composed of layers of sediment that may have up to one billion years old.
Obama believes that, through dedication of researchers from NASA, the robot Curiosity "has captured the attention of millions worldwide."
"You represent NASA with pride. You are an example of the know-how and American ingenuity, and this is truly a tremendous achievement," said President Bush, who vowed then to continue to invest in science and technology.
While Barack Obama, thanks to its position as acting president, was able to speak directly with scientists from NASA, his opponent in the presidential race, Republican Mitt Romney was forced to settle for evoking this subject, at a campaign meeting in Florida.
Praising the "greatness" of the United States, former governor of Massachusetts said: "We just landed on Mars and we got to see what happens there."
American Curiosity robot will try to find out in the next two years if the Martian environment was favorable to microbial life in the history of this planet.
See below some pics with the rover Curiosity and his landing on Mars.