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Curiosity team praised by Obama and promised budget protection

President Obama has congratulated the team behind Curiosity—the car-sized robotic roving laboratory that landed on Mars earlier this month—and given a personal commitment to protect such investments.

In a telephone call on 13 August with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which built and operates the $2.5 billion NASA rover, Obama praised the project for inspiring young people’s interest in science, technology and engineering and said he wanted to know “right away” if Curiosity discovered life on Mars.

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