Sat, Sep 15, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Mars rover flight engineer with the Mohawk becomes Internet hit
留著摩霍克髮型的火星探測車 工程師 網路爆紅

Bobak Ferdowsi, right, works at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California Aug. 5.

Photo: Reuters

While dozens of rocket scientists packed NASA’s mission control room during a much-vaunted landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, no one made a bigger impression on viewers glued to live TV and Internet coverage of the event than spike-haired Bobak Ferdowsi.

The 32-year-old flight engineer, better known to Mars-struck fans as the NASA “Mohawk Guy,” became an overnight Internet sensation and helped generate online buzz for Curiosity, thanks largely to his stars-and-stripes punk-rock hairdo and his hunky good looks.

Ferdowsi, a native of Oakland, California, with a graduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has worn eccentric hairstyles for big missions and projects throughout his nine-year tenure at NASA, as a kind of good-luck tradition.

For the occasion of Curiosity’s landing, colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena held a vote to choose a special new look — a Mohawk dyed red and blue and adorned with stars and stripes. The look transformed Ferdowsi into an instant aerospace rock star among legions of Mars enthusiasts.

The team’s successful landing and subsequent celebrations were streamed across the world, and since then, Ferdowsi said his sudden fame has elicited considerable good-natured ribbing from co-workers.

“I wouldn’t work here if I thought it was the stodgy NASA of yore. We’re still nerds and geeks here. There’s no doubt about it. We’re just a little more comfortable expressing ourselves,” Ferdowsi said.





1. much-vaunted adj.

大肆吹噓的 (da4 si4 chui1 xu1 de5)

例: Their much-vaunted security procedure hadn’t worked.


2. buzz n.

熱烈討論 (re4 lie4 tao3 lun4)

例: There’s been quite a buzz about the new movie.


3. ribbing n.

無惡意的嘲弄 (wu2 e4 yi4 de5 chao2 nong4)

例: They gave him a ribbing about his accent.







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