Rocket Scientist Interview

on November 20, 2023

Hi! Welcome back to the Kids Answers magazine blog, where we answer your big questions about God’s Word and God’s world.

We’re launching into a super special conversation for today’s creation scientist interview! Meet Rob Webb, a rocket scientist who works right here at Answers in Genesis. Rob uses his experience as an aerospace engineer (rocket scientist) to teach others about God. Before he came to Answers in Genesis, he worked at NASA for 10 years.

Rob Webb

We enjoyed talking with Rob, and we know you’ll love hearing about his exciting job. Let’s blast off to learn more!

What made you interested in rocket science?

When I was a kid, I always loved looking at the stars, and I wondered how I could maybe one day make it up into space. Watching the NASA space shuttles launch astronauts into space on TV really helped fuel my love for rocket science. I even began trying to build my own miniature rockets in my backyard in hopes of one day being part of a real rocket science team that would launch big rockets into space!

Most of all, I would say my love for rocket science and space exploration really came from my grandpa, who worked on NASA programs such as Voyager 1 and 2 (he designed the onboard communications systems for the spacecraft). I always enjoyed listening to his stories!

  • Voyager

    Voyager. NASA/JPL-Caltech, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Voyager artist concept

    Artist's concept of Voyager in flight. NASA/JPL, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

What did you do as a rocket scientist?

I designed and operated the guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) systems on various spacecraft that have been sent all over the solar system, including missions to Mars, Jupiter, and asteroids, and the Parker Solar Probe mission—the first mission to “touch” the sun. I was also part of NASA’s Pegasus rocket program. This rocket does not launch from the ground, like most rockets do. Instead, it gets launched from the bottom of a big airplane that’s flying over the open ocean!

  • Parker Solar Probe

    Artist’s concept of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

  • NASA Pegasus rocket program

    A Pegasus XL rocket is attached to the underside of this aircraft. Kim Shiflett, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • International Space Station

    International Space Station (ISS). NASA/Roscosmos, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Just before moving with my family to Northern Kentucky to work with Answers in Genesis, I was also involved with the International Space Station (ISS) commercial resupply program. This program launched big rockets to the ISS to deliver supplies like water and food (even turkeys for Thanksgiving!) and all sorts of science equipment to the astronauts onboard.

What was your favorite part of your job?

Other than the excitement of launching big, powerful rockets into space, my favorite part of my job as a Christian in the rocket scientist business was being able to explore the heavens to admire the handiwork and glory of God (Psalm 19:1).

What was the most difficult part of your job?

Most of the people I worked with as a rocket scientist did not believe in God. If they did, they did not fully believe the whole Bible. The most difficult part of my job was having to stand firm in my Christian faith while working with people who reject God’s authority. I had to really learn what I believed and why I believed it! As the Apostle Peter put it, I had to always honor Christ as Lord, and make sure I had an answer for anyone who asked me for a reason for the hope that is in me, yet with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

What have you learned about God through your work?

The more I study and marvel at the awesome magnificence of God’s creation in the heavens, the more I deepen my knowledge of who God is, which leads me to praise him even more. The universe is mind-bogglingly big—the latest estimate I’ve seen says the observable universe has at least 200 billion trillion stars—that’s 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (which is a lot of zeros!). The Bible says our powerful God has named every single star (Psalm 147:4–5). And the same God who created the stars cares for us and provides salvation for us so we can live with him forever.

What would you say to kids who might be interested in a rocket science career when they grow up?

My favorite part of my job at Answers in Genesis is motivating young Christians (maybe you?) who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to join the space industry.

Did you know that only the Bible (God’s Word) gives us the basis for science? It’s true! The Bible says God is always the same (Hebrews 13:8) and promises to always hold everything together in the universe by his power (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17). This is what makes rocket science a fun and possible reality! And that’s why we need more Christians who stand on God’s Word and won’t leave it out of their thinking to work in rocket science (plus every other science field like chemistry, geology, biology, and so on).

Is there anything else you think kids should know?

If you’re a Christian (if God is your boss) and you want to work as a rocket scientist (or any other type of scientist) when you grow up, remember to always focus on God’s commands. Be strong and stand firm in your faith (1 Corinthians 16:13). Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) against every attack and opinion from the world that is opposite of what God says (2 Corinthians 10:5). And most importantly, don’t forget to always honor and obey your parents since this is the first commandment with a promise that things will go well for you (Ephesians 6:2–3).

God promises to grant wisdom to those who ask him (James 1:5). By reading and studying your Bible every day (2 Timothy 3:16), you won’t get tricked by any worldly thinking (claims from the world that don’t line up with the Bible). And remember that your boss (Jesus) promises to defeat every enemy, including every form of worldly thinking (1 Corinthians 15:25). These are the promises from God that really helped me stay committed to him and his Word during my rocket science career.

You can check out Rob Webb’s Ask a Rocket Scientist blog where he answers your space-related questions!

Do you want to learn more about what a particular type of scientist does? Do you have a question about God’s Word or his world that you want us to answer? Is there a topic you want to learn more about? Ask your parents to help you submit your question. We’d love to hear from you!