NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins Shares Images and Discoveries from Latest Venture to Mars

NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins Shares Images and Discoveries from Latest Venture to Mars

The Houston Symphony and National Geographic Live present Exploring Mars: The Next Generation,the third event in a dynamic four-part speaker series featuring some of the world's most fascinating explorers, scientists, filmmakers and adventurers.

Featured speaker Kobie Boykins, a dynamic young engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, will recount the challenges and triumphs of the Mars exploration rover missions, sharing remarkable images and discoveries at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Boykins, a mechanical engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, has been on the front line of Mars exploration for over a decade. As supervisor of the mobility and remote mast sensing teams for the Curiosity rover - which five years ago made one of the most dramatic spacecraft landings ever attempted - Boykins has monitored headline-making studies, including proof of the former presence of water on Mars, indicating that our planetary neighbor could have supported life. He is also credited for designing the Curiosity rover's actuators.

"I probably have learned significantly more from my failures that I ever have from my successes," says Boykins, reflecting on the process of scientific exploration. "The things that I broke, I remember all of them, and I remember 'here's how I fixed it.' Those things stick in your brain and that starts that innovation cycle."

Boykins has been instrumental in building all the rovers that have safely landed on Mars: Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. Previously, he designed the solar array systems that powered the Spirit and Opportunity rovers to outlive their projected 90-day life span.

For his work on Curiosity and preceding projects, Boykins received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2012, one of the highest honors NASA employees and contractors can earn, joining the ranks of astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Mark Kelly.

This event will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston's Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

EXPLORING MARS: THE NEXT GENERATION

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Kobie Boykins, NASA Engineer

Tickets from $15

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