WBUR News

Support the news

Not My Job: We Quiz NASA Engineers On Mars Candy11:22

Play
Missions engineers Bobak Ferdowsi (left) and Adam Steltzner — also known as "Mokawk guy" and "Elvis guy," respectively — helped land the Mars Curiosity rover on Sunday night. (Right: Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)closemore
Missions engineers Bobak Ferdowsi (left) and Adam Steltzner — also known as "Mokawk guy" and "Elvis guy," respectively — helped land the Mars Curiosity rover on Sunday night. (Right: Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

This segment was originally broadcast on Aug. 8, 2012.

On a Sunday night in August, while the rest of us were ooohing and aaahing over gymnastics, a bunch of propeller heads at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were flawlessly steering a billion-dollar robotic space laboratory the size of a minivan to a landing on Mars.

Missions engineers Bobak Ferdowsi and Adam Steltzner — whose hairstyles have led them to be nicknamed "Mokawk guy" and "Elvis guy," respectively — are two of the guys behind the landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, and very well might be the Sexiest Nerds Ever.

We've invited Ferdowsi and Steltzner to play a game called "Try landing on this Mars!" Believe it or not, it is actually easier to get a camera onto the surface of planet Mars than into the factory of the incredibly secretive Mars candy company. We'll ask two experts on Mars the planet three questions about Mars the candy.

Copyright NPR 2016.

+Join the discussion
Share

Support the news

Next Up

Where to now?

More NPR or Explore Audio.