Mars Rover and the Future of Human Space Flight For some, the very thought of sending humans to Mars is nothing more than science fiction. But Mars is becoming less of an enigma, as NASA's rover Spirit kicks off three months of intensive exploration. NPR's Tavis Smiley talks to Kobie Boykins of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. He's one of several African-American engineers assigned to the Mars mission. Also joining the discussion is Neil Tyson, an astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.