Obama congratulates `Curiosity` team in California

Obama congratulated the team of NASA scientists, who successfully sent "Curiosity" mission to Mars, calling it a "mind-boggling" accomplishment.

Washington: US President Barack Obama on Monday congratulated the team of NASA scientists, who successfully sent "Curiosity" mission to Mars, calling it a "mind-boggling" accomplishment and asked them to let him know right away if the craft happens to see Martians.

"You guys have done an outstanding job. You made us all proud. You`ve made NASA proud. You guys are examples of American know-how and ingenuity, and it`s really an amazing accomplishment," Obama said, in his address to the NASA scientists who are working on the Mars project.

"And what you did on Mars was incredibly impressive. Those 76 pyrotechnics going off in perfect succession and the 500,000 lines of code working exactly the way you guys had ordered them -- so it`s really mind-boggling what you`ve been able to accomplish," he said in his phone call to the scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

"And being able to get that whole landing sequence to work the way you did is a testimony to your team," the US President said.

"So we can`t wait to start hearing back from `Curiosity` and finding out what`s going on. We`re fortunate to be part of a society that can reach beyond our planet and explore frontiers that were only imagined by our ancestors. So it`s inspiring to all of us," he said.

"I`m going to give you guys a personal commitment to protect these critical investments in science and technology. I thank you for devoting your lives to this cause. And if, in fact, you do make contact with Martians, please let me know right away," Obama said.

"I`ve got a lot of other things on my plate, but I suspect that will go to the top of the list. Even if they`re just microbes, it will be pretty exciting," he added.

Obama also congratulated the scientist of other countries who are working on the project.

"I`d like to congratulate and thank all of our international partners -- Spain, Russia, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, Australia, all of them contributed, I know, to the instrumentation `Curiosity` landed on Martian surface -- and all the scientists who are part of the JPL team," he said.

Obama said through their dedicated efforts, "Curiosity" stuck her landing and captured the attention and imagination of millions of people not just across the country, but people all around the world, including Times Square.

PTI