The idea of human travel to Mars is driving the mission of NASA. TEDxJackson Liftoff highlighted the potential for local pathways to careers in space exploration, which still represents the pinnacle of STEM achievement. Tom Martin’s talk explains the idea of NASA’s Journey to Mars and its testing phase in a Mississippi swamp. Tom Martin is a Project Manager in Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Advanced Space & Launch Business Unit. In this role, he is responsible for the capture of AR1 business with the United States Government and commercial launch vehicle partners.