WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday called NASA, the American space regulator, and congratulated them on the guidance given by scientists with the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on landing Curiosity, the unmanned rover, to Mars last week.
"It's really mind-boggling what you've been able to accomplish, " Obama called via Air Force One while en route to Iowa. "We could not be more exited."
The president also noted his administration's focus on engineering and science and math and said that Curiosity is inspiring kids across the country.
"You know, they're telling their Moms and Dads they want to be part of a Mars mission, maybe even the first person to walk on Mars," said Obama. He also said that the quest for knowledge represented by missions like Curiosity is "really what makes us best as a species, this curiosity that we have and this yearning to discover and know more."
Mars rover Curiosity, loaded with the most-sophisticated instruments ever used to explore another world, touched down on the Red Planet on Aug. 6. During the next two years, it will use its 10 instruments to investigate whether conditions have been favorable for microbial life and for preserving clues in the rocks about possible past life.