National Geographic Live: Exploring Mars

Kobie Boykins, NASA Engineer

Nov 4, 2021 Knight Theater

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Overview

Few events in the last decade of space exploration have captured the world’s imagination like NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The successful deployment of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2004 launched a new era of scientific investigation of our nearest planetary neighbor, and marked a personal triumph for Kobie Boykins: he helped design and build the solar arrays that enabled the rovers to keep going long after their planned 90-day life. 

 

As supervisor of the mobility and remote sensing teams for the Mars rover Curiosity, Boykins monitored the headline making studies of the rover, including evidence that conditions on Mars could once have supported life. In 2013, Boykins received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, one of the highest honors given to NASA employees and contractors.

 

Join Boykins for an engaging evening exploring the red planet—with an update on the latest chapter in Mars exploration. His boundless enthusiasm for unraveling the mysteries of outer space, and Mars in particular, is infectious.

 

ABOUT KOBIE

Kobie Boykins is a principal mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Boykins graduated Cum Laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, before joining JPL.

In more than twenty-five years at the lab, he has worked on the Pathfinder mission, built the solar arrays for the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, led the mobility and remote sensing teams for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover, Curiosity, and is serving as Chief Engineer on the Europa Clipper team.

In 2013, Boykins received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, one of the highest honors given to NASA employees and contractors.

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