NASA People

Text Size

Center Snapshot: Bobby Martin
Bobby Martin. Image above: Robert "Bobby" Martin gets off one of Langley's King Air research airplanes after a flight supporting a Science Directorate mission. Credit: NASA/Michael Finneran

By: Micheal Finneran

Robert "Bobby" Martin didn't wake up thinking "my life is going to change today" when he went to a career day at NASA's Langley Research Center with his Denbigh High School drafting class in 2008. But it did.

"I became instantly interested in working at NASA after speaking with Chris McLain (a Langley employee) about the work he was doing in the model shop," said Martin, a Newport News native. "And after seeing how passionate all of the people who I spoke to that day were about their jobs, I knew this is where I wanted to be."

McLain told Martin about a technician co-op program. Martin applied and was accepted.

"I started working at Langley a month after I graduated from high school," he said.

Today Martin, 22, is a mechanical engineering technician apprentice in Langley's Science Directorate, working a job that that requires him to spend a lot of time with Earth-observing instruments and flying with them on NASA research aircraft. He's also an alternate facility coordinator for the Science Directorate.

"On a day-to-day basis I basically provide Science Directorate personnel with technical and logistical capabilities," he said.

Martin is working on two big airborne missions. One is to study pollution in the Midwestern U.S. and Asia this spring. The other will measure air pollution in California in December 2013.

"I love my job because of the people that I am surrounded by each and every day," he said. "Because of the co-op program, I've been able to work in almost a dozen facilities across Langley. This not only helped me gain a broad technical background but has also privileged me with getting to know a great crowd of people. The work is very interesting too!"

What does he like to do outside work?

"I¹m very interested in flying and one day owning an aircraft of my own," said Martin. "I enjoy outdoor activities, such as biking, kayaking, snowboarding, and shooting. I love listening to and collecting music - rock, blues, funk - and I play the electric bass."

The Researcher News
NASA Langley Research Center
Editor & Curator: Denise Lineberry
Managing Editor: Jim Hodges
Executive Editor & Responsible NASA Official: Rob Wyman