20 Questions with NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins

20 Questions with NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins

A mechanical engineer by training, Kobie Boykins has worked on projects from Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rovers to Ocean Surface Topography Mission over more than ten years at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Boykins comes to Jones Hall to share his amazing stories and give us the latest updates on travel to Mars. Get to know one of NASA’s most brilliant engineers with these fun questions!

Rich Rainen order 109700 management and actuator team inspecting MSL Actuators Kobe Boykins photog: Dutch Slager
Kobie Boykins poses in a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Houston Symphony: What’s one thing most people wouldn’t know about being a NASA engineer?

Kobie Boykins: It truly is an AWESOME job!

HS: If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be?

KB: Wow, as I think about this there are so many people that come to mind. If I could only pick one, I think it would be Leonardo da Vinci, but Jesus, I don’t know how I could pass up on him.

HS: What is your biggest dream?

KB: To see humans travel in space like in Star Trek, and it has to be on the USS Enterprise.

HS: What is your spirit animal?

"...and it has to be on the USS Enterprise."
“…and it has to be on the USS Enterprise.”

KB: Dolphin.

HS: Which superhero’s powers would you most like to have?

KB: Professor X.

HS: What’s your favorite fictional robot?

KB: DATA then Wall-E. I am sure there are others, Big Hero 6…

HS: What’s something that scares you?

KB: Not being able to act like a kid…

HS: Describe one of the topics you’ll cover at this event in three words.

KB: The bad Sister.

HS: What gets on your nerves?

KB: Neurons?

HS: What are you most proud of?

"...there is also that hardware on Mars that is very cool."
“There is also that hardware on Mars that is very cool.”

KB: Being a father, brother, and a son. There is also that hardware on Mars that is very cool.

HS: What is your favorite place in the world?

KB: Tahiti.

HS: What is the last book you enjoyed reading?

KB: Re-read of the Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn.

HS: What is the last movie or TV show you enjoyed watching?

KB: Love The Blacklist.

HS: Name one person who inspires you.

KB: My mother.

HS: If you had to have a job in a different field, what would it be?

KB: Physiologist or Sociologist. I love learning about people and how their minds work.

HS: What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I cry every time, TRULY.
“I cry every time, TRULY.”

KB: I am a sucker for good love stories. My favorite love-story movie is The Notebook. I cry every time, TRULY.

HS: If you were a robot, what would be your purpose?

KB: To seek out new life, new civilizations, to boldly…make everyone love science and engineering!

HS: What scientific discovery would you most like to see?

KB: Picture of another Earth-like planet around another star.

HS: What’s one quality you look for in all your friends?

KB: Intelligence, trustworthiness, love of life, honesty—see I can’t follow directions.

HS: Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the universe?

KB: Honestly, I can think of a lot of places, but I really like right where I am. With my wife, my kids, my friends, my family, and the work I get to do, this is the best time and place in the universe.

Don’t miss Kobie Boykins at Exploring Mars: The Next Generation, part of our National Geographic Live! speaker series. Get tickets and more info here.

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