Today On Mars: The President's Signature

The plaque is next in a 40-year tradition of presidential autographs.

Obama and Biden's Signatures

Spirit and Opportunity rovers' lander platforms have plaques for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the sitting officials in 2004.NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Starting with Nixon and the Apollo missions, we've been blasting presidential signatures into space for more than four decades. This one's the latest: Barack Obama's signature is on Mars rover Curiosity, with Joe Biden's right below it. This shot, of the left side of the rover's deck, was taken by the ever-flexible Curiosity on a recent Martian "sol," or Mars day. Also attached--on the neat, anodized aluminum plaque, which is the material of choice for this sort of thing--are the John Hancocks of various science advisers and NASA officials.