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NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' getting a brand new hairdo for inauguration

January 17, 2013|By Amina Khan
  • Bobak Ferdowsi works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Aug. 5, when the Curiosity rover landed safely on Mars. His appearance that night, with his faux-hawk hairdo, made him a national celebrity. Ferdowsi says he'll be sporting a new hairstyle for Monday's presidential inauguration parade.
Bobak Ferdowsi works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Aug. 5, when the… (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles…)

NASA "Mohawk Guy" Bobak Ferdowsi has a whole new hairstyle planned for next week’s presidential inauguration parade, the Mars Curiosity rover engineer said Wednesday.

Ferdowsi would not, however, give any hint as to what the new 'do would be.

“It’s a surprise,” the impeccably coiffed Ferdowsi said in an interview. “I’m hoping people will tune in to find out, but it will be something fun.”

The Mars Science Laboratory mission flight director made headlines during Curiosity’s landing Aug. 5. His stars-and-stripes faux-hawk stole the show as he sat in the mission control room at Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the rover’s dramatic touchdown.

Within days, the flight director’s Twitter count shot to more than 40,000, turning the 33-year-old engineer into a de facto spokesman for the mission. His hairdo was later parodied in the hit viral video "We’re NASA and We Know It."

This wasn’t the first time Ferdowsi styled his hair for an event – he colored his faux-hawk red and gold to represent flames during the rover’s fiery launch from Earth back in November 2011.

During Monday’s festivities in Washington kicking off President Obama's second term, Ferdowsi will join teammates in marching with a full-size model of the Curiosity rover during the inauguration parade.  Other events are planned for the days preceding the parade, including an open house at NASA headquarters Friday and a stargazing party Saturday night. Here’s a full NASA schedule.

For more on how Ferdowsi chose his famous faux-hawk, check out this Q&A and our Google+ hangout.

Follow me on Twitter @aminawrite.

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