It was one of those moments that could only happen on the streets of New York.
Recently, Humans of New York (HONY) photographer Brandon Stanton was making his rounds through the city when he came across a 10-year-old boy named Max and his father. Kids can, and often do, say some hilarious things when interviewed by Stanton, but this boy was all business:
"My dad goes all over the world and learns about the news. One time he met a king. I want to be a reporter too. If I was a reporter right now, I'd probably write a story about if NASA was going to launch a new rocket into space. I'd start by going to the Director of NASA. Then I'd ask him about his rockets. And if any of them were going to space."
But they couldn't have predicted who would reply.
A representative from NASA commented on the post, answering the questions he asked:
"We *are* going to launch a new rocket into space! We're developing NASA's Space Launch System to be the world's most powerful rocket and launch NASA's Orion Spacecraft into deep space, first to lunar orbits then eventually farther on the journey to Mars."
The response was a complete testament to NASA's devotion to inspiring young minds, as well as the almost magical quality that HONY has to bring people together.
Answering the Max's questions was great, but NASA wasn't done with him yet. The young Walter Cronkite-in-training was invited to NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he was invited to fulfill his dream and interview NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
For the updated HONY post, Max gave his perspective on the experience:
"It all started when I was walking with my dad down a street in midtown. A man, Brandon (an amazing photographer) met me, took our picture and I told him what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to be a reporter and that my dream would be to interview the head of NASA. And then NASA responded, how amazing is that? NASA then invited me to interview the administrator today and I learned so much but I'm going to focus on a few things. First of all, I learned that in 2030 we will be on mars! Next, Administrator Bolden (a very nice man) told me that 90% of the film "The Martian" is real except the size of the dust storm because the atmosphere is too dense. After the interview, we went to the NASA Headquarters Space Operations Center, where I watched the sunrise live from the space station — they see it 16 times a day. I had so much fun and I hope one day that I'll be able to work for the news again."
As if seeing a determined and inquisitive child isn't endearing enough, Max's genuine appreciation for what happened is authentic and amazing.
Best of all, NASA filmed Max and Administrator Bolden's interview, posting it on NASA's official YouTube channel.
Interviewing Administrator Bolden is a pretty incredible opportunity and Max handled it like a seasoned pro. He had interesting questions, was engaged in the responses, and had a clear and confident delivery. Max told HONY he wanted to be a reporter and he hit it out of the ballpark.
Of course, this isn't the first time lives have been changed by a chance interaction with HONY. This spring, a picture of a 13-year-old boy who discussed his principal believing in him and holding him to a higher standard not only resulted in a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $1.4 million to bring underprivileged students on a field trip to Harvard, but even got President Obama involved as well.
HONY: Is there anything it can't do?
All images via: Humans of New York