One week after the Curiosity Mars Rover successfully touched down on the red planet, President Obama placed a phone call to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to congratulate the team and pledge further support for their initiatives. The whole call was captured on NASA video and saw Obama pledge to give "a personal commitment to protect these critical investments in science and technology." It's a bold promise, and the type of thing that NASA supporters will want to hear, but it'll take more than words to keep that promise. Budget cuts have been too often associated with NASA in recent years, and its hard to continue pushing boundaries without proper funding.
"You guys [NASA] are a little cooler than you used to be"
Still, this was a day of celebration and praise for the JPL team, with President Obama saying that "we could not be more excited about what you've been doing," and noting that the mission "embodies the American spirit." He even teased a future manned mission to Mars, saying "our expectation is that Curiosity is going to be telling us things that we did not know before and laying the groundwork for an even more audacious undertaking in the future, and that's a human mission to the Red Planet." That's a lofty goal, and one that'll take the full backing of Obama's administration, and future presidents who follow him. Obama wrapped up his call by saying that he wants to know "right away" if Curiosity makes contact with "Martians," further saying that "I've got a lot of things on my plate, but I suspect that will go to the top of my list. Even if they're just microbes, it will be pretty exciting."