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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Learn about Mars at the Holland Center on April 22

Photo Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Nathan in particular was happy to hear about the speaker coming to Omaha on April 22--National Geographic Live's Exploring the Red Planet with Kobie Boykins, NASA engineer. This will be an evening spent learning more about the mysterious planet of Mars. A part of the speaker series presented by Omaha Performing Arts, Exploring the Red Planet will have Omaha native, Kobie Boykins, sharing about the Mars rovers, recent photos from Mars and he will share the future of space exploration with everyone. Exploring the Red Planet will begin at 7:30 p.m. on April 22. 

Photo Courtesy NASA
About Kobie Boykins:
Boykins graduated from Omaha Northwest High School in 1992. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., beginning his career in the aerospace industry in the Advanced Mechanical Systems group at NASA/Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a student. After graduation, he began his first program, working on the entry, descent and landing systems for the Mars Pathfinder rover. He has since worked on the Sojourner, Exploration, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity r
As a Solar Array Cognizant Engineer for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, Boykins designed the deployable solar array structure and mechanisms that power the rovers. Both have outlasted their predicted life significantly and have found indications of past existence of water on Mars.
For the past several years, Boykins has been JPL’s supervisor of the Mobility and Mechanisms Engineering group, within its Spacecraft Mechanical Engineering section. He has overseen the designing, building and testing of mechanisms and other mechanical hardware for a wide range of robotic space vehicles. These include the deployment and mobility mechanisms for Mars rovers, pyrotechnic devices, launch locks and latches, multi-axis gimbals as well as technology development for future missions. Currently, Boykins is working on a project called Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) as a technical advisor for the Spacecraft Solar Array and Deployable Boom.
Tickets are still available to see Exploring the Red Planet and can be purchased at Nathan, who decided years ago to be an astronaut who visits Mars, is looking forward to attending and learning more about the Red Planet. We understand that Kobie Boykins is an entertaining and engaging speaker and we're looking forward to learning more about Mars and the things he has done through his work at NASA. 

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