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Home » Dr. Joel Levine: The Exploration and Colonization of Mars: Why Mars? Why Humans?

Dr. Joel Levine: The Exploration and Colonization of Mars: Why Mars? Why Humans?

Dr. Joel Levine

TRANSCRIPT: 

Let me tell you how special this is for me. I’ve worked, as Andy said, at NASA for 41 years.

I was involved in half a dozen successful missions to Mars. I presented over 500 presentations about the results in 50 countries around the world, and yet today is the first time they put makeup on my face before I gave the talk.

So it’s been a unique experience for me, too. We’ve been talking a lot about passion and uncommon – those two words – and I want to tell you my passion. I was twelve years old in Brooklyn, New York and — Brooklyn, New York is known for its Brooklyn onions, as we heard earlier.

I happened to look at a textbook that just came to the library, and I saw something that left the tremendous impression. I saw this picture of planet Mars. It was taken with the Mount Wilson 100-inch telescope in California, and I remember staring at this picture and thinking about another world like the Earth. Is there life on it? What’s this world like?

Because of this passion for Mars, a year later, I was given by my grandmother a telescope, an astronomical telescope, and I started looking through the telescope, looking at Mars. I was born and raised in Brooklyn and the uncommon part of my talk is: here’s a 13 to 14-year-old, thinking he can do astronomy with a telescope in New York City.

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