- Engineer Bobak Ferdowsi tweeted a sign from one of NASA’s bathrooms
- It passive aggressively compares littering to difficulty of navigating a spacecraft
- Ferdowsi rose to internet fame five years ago during the Curiosity rover landing
They’ve landed rovers on distant worlds, and discovered planets beyond our solar system – but even NASA’s top scientists are subjected to everyday frustrations, just like the rest of us.
Engineer Bobak Ferdowsi, who rose to internet fame after his mohawk nearly stole the show from the Curiosity rover during coverage of its Mars landing five years ago, has shared a hilarious glimpse into the staff struggles at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.
Ferdowsi tweeted a sign spotted in one of NASA’s bathrooms, which passive aggressively addresses a littering problem, with the message: ‘How do you expect to do a 25km flyby of Europa, if you can’t even hit the garbage can?!?’
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Engineer Bobak Ferdowsi, who rose to internet fame after his mohawk nearly stole the show from the Curiosity rover during coverage of its Mars landing five years ago, has shared a hilarious glimpse into the staff struggles at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab
JUPITER’S ICY MOON
Jupiter’s icy moon Europa is slightly smaller than Earth’s moon.
Europa orbits Jupiter every 3.5 days and is tidally locked – just like Earth’s Moon – so that the same side of Europa faces Jupiter at all times.
It is thought to have an iron core, a rocky mantle and a surface ocean of salty water, like Earth.
Unlike on Earth, however, this ocean is deep enough to cover the whole surface of Europa, and being far from the sun, the ocean surface is globally frozen over.
Many experts believe the hidden ocean surrounding Europa, warmed by powerful tidal forces caused by Jupiter’s gravity, may have conditions favourable for life.
It’s a situation many office workers know all too well.
And, it seems the country’s top scientists and engineers use anonymous notes to convey their frustrations, too.
The sign shared by Ferdowsi even included a handwritten follow-up, with details on target acquisition and various errors.
‘Good thing these guys aren’t the navigators!’ the mystery commenter noted.
‘If you’re having a rough day, just remember that sometimes even NASA’s top scientists & engineers struggle with the bathroom trashcan. #STEMDay,’ Ferdowsi tweeted alongside the photo.
While the tweet may be light-hearted, the engineer also points out that the trashcan is pretty hard to miss.
‘For reference, we’re talking flying a spacecraft 15 mi / 25 km above the surface of a moon ~500,000,000 mi / 800,000,000 km away,’ Ferdowsi added.
‘The trashcan is arm’s length away.’
Ferdowsi tweeted a sign spotted in one of NASA’s bathrooms, which passive aggressively addresses a littering problem: ‘How do you expect to do a 25km flyby of Europa, if you can’t even hit the garbage can?!?’ He also points out that the trashcan is pretty hard to miss
‘For reference, we’re talking flying a spacecraft 15 mi / 25 km above the surface of a moon ~500,000,000 mi / 800,000,000 km away,’ Ferdowsi added. An artist’s impression is pictured
Ferdowsi is an engineer on the Europa Clipper mission, which will explore Jupiter’s icy moon Europa to determine if it could hold the right conditions for alien life.
Europa is thought to be home to a vast liquid water ocean – but, this is buried beneath an icy shell.
The spacecraft will carry out multiple close flybys to find out more about the ‘alien ocean,’ using cameras and spectrometers to capture high-resolution images of the surface, and ice penetrating radar to assess the thickness of the icy crust.
ENGINEER DUBBED THE ‘SEXIEST NERD AT NASA’
In 2012, NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi became an internet sensation when viewers grew captivated by his red-tinged mohawk haircut, the yellow stars dyed above his ears, and his big beaming smile following a successful day after Curiosity rover landed on Mars.
Within minutes, satirical posters went up online, his name began trending on Twitter, and tributes and even artwork flooded in to celebrate his new instant celebrity.
Star quality: Nasa engineer Bobak Ferdowsi, part of the team behind the Mars Curiosity landing, became an Internet sensation when a picture of him with stars shaved into the side of his head was beamed around the world
Before the launch, Bobak had about 200 followers. Within the first 18 hours afterward, it had climbed to 17,200.
Now, he has over 110,000 followers.
In an interview with MailOnline that year, the mohawked flight director for the Mars Curiosity Rover said that he was ‘flattered’ with all the attention he has been getting.
Having initially remained silent on the clamour, Ferdoswi finally addressed it, and told MailOnline that being dubbed the sexiest nerd at NASA was an ‘honour.’
Space sensation: Internet memes flooded online after Bobak was spotted in the Nasa control room
Studies in recent months have gone back and forth on the subject of Europa’s potential habitability.
With closer observation, scientists hope to get a better understanding of the processes taking place on the icy moon, and their effect on its ability to sustain microbial life.
The mission is planned for the 2020s, with the spacecraft arriving in the Jupiter system a few years later.