NASA Senior Engineer Kobie Boykins talks About Exploring Mars. And I was There to See it!

As part of National Geographic Live, Chief Engineer Kobie Boykins of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been touring the world of late. As part of the program’s goal of having featured speakers share their behind-the-scenes stories, Boykins has been showcasing the accomplishments of NASA’s Mars robotic exploration programs – of which he played a major role.

This week, his tour brought him to my hometown, where he delivered a presentation to a packed house at the Royal Theatre here in of Victoria, BC. Titled “Exploring Mars”, Boykins shared personal stories of what it was like to be an integral part of the team that created the Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity and Mars 2020 rovers. I had the honor of attending the event, and being able to do a little Q&A with him after the show.

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Weekly Space Hangout: May 23, 2018: Mike Massimino and Nat Geo’s ONE STRANGE ROCK

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

Special Guests:
This week, we are extremely excited to welcome former NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino back to the Weekly Space Hangout in a segment he pre-recorded with Fraser back in April of this year.

Mike, the first person ever to send a tweet from space, joins a group of eight elite astronauts to tell Earth’s extraordinary story in National Geographic’s new series, ONE STRANGE ROCK, executive produced by Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures and Jane Root’s Nutopia. Having viewed Earth from space, Mike conveys his personal experiences of our planet and underscores how there really is no place like home.

Mike served as an astronaut from 1996 to 2014. He is a veteran of two space flights: STS-109 in March 2002 and STS-125 in May 2009 – the final two Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions. He was the last person to work inside of Hubble and set a team record with his crewmates for the most cumulative spacewalking time in a single space shuttle mission. He has logged a total of 571 hours and 47 minutes in space and 30 hours and 4 minutes of spacewalking.

Mike received his Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University and two Master of Science degrees and a Ph.D. from MIT. He has received a number of awards including two NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the American Astronautical Society’s 2009 Flight Achievement Award. Additionally, he is the holder of two patents and author of many engineering research papers.

Mike lives in New York City, where he is an engineering professor at Columbia University and the senior advisor for space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. He is author of the New York Times Bestseller Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe and has made numerous television appearances, including National Geographic’s late-night talk show StarTalk and had a six-time recurring role as himself on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

You can watch full episodes of One Strange Rock online at the Nat Geo website (http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/one-strange-rock/) including Episode 7, Terraform, featuring this week’s guest, Mike Massimino.

Announcements:
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