Kobie Boykins told people he wanted to build spaceships from the time he was 7 years old.

Kobie Boykins told people he wanted to build spaceships from the time he was 7 years old.

That's exactly what he does now.

Boykins is a mechanical engineer for NASA. He helped to build and design two rovers, called "Opportunity" and "Spirit," for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.

Boykins will be speak about his work at NASA and his dreams of finding life on Mars at 8 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road in New Albany.

"Opportunity" continues to explore the surface of Mars, sending back information and photographs. Boykins was responsible for the "design, fabrication, and build of the solar arrays that power the Mars Expedition rovers," according to information from the McCoy center.

Boykins' visit is part of the McCoy center's regular season of events that provides educational and entertainment opportunities for the community.

Tickets are $15, $20 and $25 and are available through www.mccoycenter.org or by calling 614-245-4701.

Kristin Ferguson, marketing director for the McCoy center, said "families interested in space exploration to scientists, professors, engineers or anyone who likes a geographical type of scenario or story are going to be interested in listening to him. He's a gregarious speaker."

NASA officials have called Boykins "one of the most intelligent people on earth," and NASA has included him in its Marsapalooza tour, featuring six scientists and engineers that tour the country talking about both the challenges and accomplishments of the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission and sharing stories of space travel.