Few events in the last decade of space exploration have captured the world’s imagination like NASA’s ongoing Mars Exploration Program. In 2004, the successful deployment of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity launched a new era of scientific investigation of our nearest planetary neighbor. For Kobie Boykins, a mechanical engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the rovers’ success was also a personal triumph: he helped design and build the solar arrays that enabled the rovers to keep going long after their planned 90-day life.
Boykins’ boundless enthusiasm for unraveling the mysteries of outer space, and Mars in particular, is infectious. Join him at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, at the Atwood Concert Hall for an engaging evening exploring the Red Planet ⎯ with an update on the very latest chapter in the ongoing story of Mars exploration.
Boykins is intimately involved with our latest venture to Mars, as supervisor of the mobility and remote sensing mast teams for the Mars Science Laboratory, better known as Curiosity. Curiosity landed on Mars in August of 2012 and has already made headlines with evidence that conditions on Mars, including the presence of water, once could have supported life. For work on this and other compelling projects, Boykins received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, one of the highest honors given to NASA employees and contractors.
National Geographic Live represents dynamic and proven speakers reporting from the front lines of exploration. Using award-winning photographs and video, these modern storytellers share amazing adventures, and present a wide range of human-interest and conservation topics.
The Anchorage Museum brings this series to the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts as part of its commitment to presenting quality programming reflecting life in the North. The upcoming 2014-15 National Geographic Live Anchorage Speaker Series includes:
- Exploring Mars: Rovers of the Red Planet: NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13
- Connect with Anybody, Anywhere: Photojournalist Annie Griffiths, 7:30 p.m. March 3
The National Geographic Live Anchorage Speaker Series 2014-15 is presented by the Anchorage Museum in partnership with the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets cost $39 and are on sale through CenterTix.net.