Obama cheers 'mind-boggling' Curiosity mission

Associated Press
President Barack Obama walks from Marine One to board Air Force One at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 en route to Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Neb., and onto a three day campaign bus tour through Iowa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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President Barack Obama walks from Marine One to board Air Force One at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 en route to Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Neb., and onto a three day campaign bus tour through Iowa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — President Barack Obama says last week's landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars was a "mind-boggling" accomplishment.

And he's urging NASA scientists to let him know right away if the craft happens to see any Martians.

Obama telephoned the Curiosity team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday as Air Force One flew him to a campaign stop in Iowa.

The car-sized rover landed eight days ago after a complex series of maneuvers that involved a huge parachute and cables lowering it to the Mars surface. Its mission includes looking for environmental conditions that might have given rise to life.

Obama says even if Curiosity just finds microbes, it'll be "pretty exciting."

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