Steven W. Squyres, Ph.D., serves as the Chairman of the NASA Advisory Council. He is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He previously served during the 1990’s as a member of the NASA Advisory Council, and also has served as chairman of the former NASA Space Science Advisory Committee.
Dr. Squyres is currently participating in a unique 13-day undersea expedition in the Florida Keys to simulate a future human mission to an asteroid, taking the first steps toward learning how to do asteroid exploration by humans. NASA’s goal is to send a human mission to an asteroid by 2025. Dr. Squyres is a member of the NEEMO team of six researchers living and working underwater in Aquarius, a school bus-sized laboratory sitting on the seabed at a depth of 60 feet. The NEEMO expedition is researching ways to conduct field geology in a simulated microgravity environment.
Dr. Squyres' research focuses on the robotic exploration of planetary surfaces, the history of water on Mars, geophysics and tectonics of icy satellites, tectonics of Venus, and planetary gamma-ray and X-ray spectroscopy. His best known research includes study of the history and distribution of water on Mars and of the possible existence and habitability of a liquid water ocean on Europa.
Dr. Squyres has participated in a number of NASA planetary missions including Voyager, Magellan, and the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous. He is currently the scientific principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover mission, which includes the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. He also is a co-investigator on the Mars Express mission and on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Squyres is a member on the Mars Odyssey mission and the Cassini mission to Saturn. In 1981, he earned a Ph.D. in Planetary Science from Cornell University.