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NASA engineer who helped build Mars rovers talks to LI kids

NASA engineer Kobie Boykins with Kidsday reporters, from

NASA engineer Kobie Boykins with Kidsday reporters, from left: Angela Lentini, Eddie Ricottone, Domenica Vitale and Owen Zwerling at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. Photo Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We walked inside the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City and looked around. We saw airplanes and models of aircrafts. We walked through the big hall right near the doorway of the presentation room where Kobie Boykins would be. We were eager to meet Kobie, a NASA engineer.

Kobie helped to build the sister Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. He also helped design the rover Curiosity, which is still exploring to this day. Kobie will be designing many parts of the new 2020 rover.

In our opinion Kobie Boykins has a very enthusiastic personality. He does not take being famous for granted. What we mean by that is he acts like a normal person even though he has accomplished so many things.

We got to see Kobie present pictures about his rovers and pictures of Mars. He talked about the team’s newest rover, the Mars 2020. We asked him if the new 2020 rover was the most complicated one he and his team will be making or designing. He said as far as the mobility system, no, but the science is so much more advanced and harder than anything else he and his team have designed and engineered. This means that most of the engineering portion will be the same but the science will be a lot more advanced and able to get more accurate results on rock tests.

He presented for an hour, but we had to leave early to get ready for the interview. When Kobie came out, everyone watched him. Some people brought him into the room where we would interview him. Cameras followed him, and we watched as he spoke.

We began the interview by asking him if he felt under a lot of pressure when he builds spaceships and rovers. He told us that he does because of the pressure he puts on himself. He said that the spacecraft is not what is putting you in that position, you just want to make it perfect.

Kobie told us that his favorite subject as a kid was physics because he said that it was mostly hands-on. He was a visual learner so he really liked anything that he could touch and play with.

We learned that Kobie loves to play with his two kids in his spare time, and when he was younger, and even now, he likes to build with Legos. As he got older, he liked to make drones. As you can tell, he always loved to build in his free time.

We had a blast interviewing Kobie Boykins. It was such a great experience for us. Kobie was so nice to us, and we learned so much about him.

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