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Kobie Boykins
Mechanical Engineering section
NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

Why spend money on exploring the solar system with wars, terrorism, and other troubles down here on Earth?
It's basically a simple answer for me. It's hope. It's hope for what's there tomorrow, what's to come. If all we did was turn in and look at all the problems that we have, we really wouldn't go out there and explore the things that are there. It's that vision, that word that separates human beings from all other animals. That ability to say, I have a dream that I want to go there, and then you do it.

For me personally it's that "Hey, look, we dreamed the dream to go to the moon" and we did it. Now the dream is explore, find new life, find new civilizations, find whatever you can find, what's out there. Those types of things are the goals, pushing the future, pushing the envelope, increasing everything that we do here, is the goal, and that's why we do it. We don't sit here and stew in the fact that, yes, "9-11" was a tragedy, yes, we have a war in Iraq, but if you sit here and let that bog you down and stop you, then you don't have a civilization any more. You lose that, pushing that envelope, pushing that leading edge, saying, hey, this is technology, and this is where it needs to go, that's what's going to get us to the next level, that's what's going to bring us into the next century, the next decade...

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