Then, in 2011, Dixon transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the year the Curiosity Rover launched. Sitting at his desk, watching the launch coverage, Dixon said the fear faded away.
"It was so spectacular seeing all the engineers and the scientists working on it," he said. "And I had this realization that I was cheating myself and cheating my childhood dreams if I was just going to chicken out and not try and be one of those people one day."
The next day, Dixon changed his major, graduating from UW-Milwaukee with a geosciences degree, then from Western Washington University with a master’s in planetary science.