Raymond Arvidson

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

Ray Arvidson

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Biography

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.

WashU in the News

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Next stop, Mars

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Ray Arvidson, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor

Stories

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.

From high school dropout to landing Curiosity on Mars: Adam Steltzner on how ‘Curiosity Changed My Life’

Nothing in Adam Steltzner’s younger years pointed to his becoming NASA’s chief engineer for the highly delicate landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars. He flunked high school geometry and dropped out to join a rock band. On March 26, Steltzner will tell how “Curiosity Changed My Life” for the Assembly Series. His presentation, which will begin at 6 p.m. in Graham Chapel, is free and open to the public.