Raymond Arvidson

James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Ray Arvidson

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Raymond E. Arvidson, director of the Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory in the McDonnell Center for Space Sciences, is an interdisciplinary scientist focused on teaching and research about current and past environments on Earth, Mars and Venus.

He is the deputy principal investigator for the highly successful Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity), and he has been instrumental in developing and implementing both orbital and landed missions to the planets. He is a science team member and mobility specialist for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover that has been exploring Mars since August 2012.

Arvidson is also the director of the NASA Planetary Data System Geosciences Node, helping make NASA data available to the worldwide research community.

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Next stop, Mars

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Ray Arvidson, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor


WashU Expert: Mission complete

Ray Arvidson, professor of Earth and planetary sciences and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, talks about the end of Opportunity’s longer-than-expected 15-year mission — he was the deputy principal investigator for the Mars exploration rover for NASA.

A spillway on Mars?

NASA’s senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is examining rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater for signs that they may have been either transported by a flood or eroded in place by wind.

WashU Expert: Arvidson on news that water still flows on Mars

NASA announced earlier this week that dark streaks that appear on Martian slopes in the summer, lengthen and then fade as winter approaches are seeps of salty water. The news that Mars still has surface water again raised hopes that it may have life. It will take thoughtful mission planning to find out, says Washington University in St. Louis Mars expert Ray Arvidson, PhD.

Spirit of St. Louis on Mars

The Opportunity rover is currently exploring a Martian crater named the Spirit of St. Louis, after the famous aircraft — which was in turn named in honor of St. Louis citizens who purchased it for Charles Lindbergh. The mission team picked this naming scheme because Washington University team members spotted a promising target just beyond the crater. As long as the rover remains in the crater, the names will drawn from a list of names related to the famous flight.