Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

Steven W. Squyres

James A. Weeks Professor of Physical Sciences
Steven W. Squyres
Specialty Areas

Planetary Sciences

Research Projects

Mars Science Laboratory APXS, Mars Science Laboratory SAM, Mars Science Laboratory DAN, Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Investigation for the 2001 Mars Surveyor Mission, Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) Investigation, MER: Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem, High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Investigation for the Mars Odyssey Mission, Participation in the HIRISE Mission, Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, Mars Exploration Rover Pancam Investigation, Mineralogy and Weathering History of the Martian Surface


Steve 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, planetary gamma-ray and x-ray spectroscopy. Research for which he is best known 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.

Prof. Squyres has participated in a number of planetary spaceflight missions. From 1978 to 1981 he was an associate of the Voyager imaging science team, participating in analysis of imaging data from the encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. He was a radar investigator on the Magellan mission to Venus, a member of the Mars Observer gamma-ray spectrometer flight investigation team, and a co-investigator on the Russian Mars '96 mission. Dr. Squyres is currently the scientific Principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Project. He is also a co-investigator on the Mars Express mission, and on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. He is a member of the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Flight Investigation Team for the Mars Odyssey mission, and a member of the imaging team for the Cassini mission to Saturn.

Selected Publications
  • The Athena Mars rover science investigation (with R.E. Arvidson, E.T. Baumgartner, J.F. Bell III, P.R. Christensen, S. Gorevan, K.E. Herkenhoff, G. Klingelhofer, M.B. Madsen, R.V. Morris, R. Rieder, and R.A. Romero). J. Geophys. Res., 108, 8062, doi:10.1029/2003JE002121 (2003).
  • The Spirit rover's Athena science investigation at Gusev Crater, Mars (with the Athena Science Team). Science, 305, 5685, 794-799 (2004).
  • In-situ evidence for an ancient aqueous environment at Meridiani Planum, Mars (with J.P. Grotzinger, J.F. Bell III, W. Calvin, P.R. Christensen, B.C. Clark, J.A. Crisp, W.H. Farrand, K.E. Herkenhoff, G. Klingelhofer, A.H. Knoll, S.M. McLennan, H.Y. McSween, R.V. Morris, J.W. Rice, Jr., R. Rieder, and L.A. Soderblom). Science, 306, 5702, 1709-1714 (2004).
  • The Opportunity rover's Athena science investigation at Meridiani Planum, Mars (with the Athena Science Team). Science, 306, 5702, 1698-1703 (2004).
  • Sedimentary rocks at Meridiani Planum: Origin, diagenesis, and implications for life on Mars (with A.H. Knoll), Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 240, 1-10 (2005).
  • Rocks of the Columbia Hills (with R.E. Arvidson, D.L. Blaney, B.C. Clark, L. Crumpler, W.H. Farrand, S. Gorevan, K.E. Herkenhoff, J. Hurowitz, A. Kusack, H.Y. McSween, D.W. Ming, R.V. Morris, S.W. Ruff, A. Wang, and A. Yen). J. Geophys. Res., 111, E02S11, doi:10.1029/2005JE002562 (2006).
  • Two years at Meridiani Planum: Results from the Opportunity rover (with A.H. Knoll, R.E. Arvidson, B.C. Clark, J.P. Grotzinger, B.L. Jolliff, S.M. McLennan, N. Tosca, J.F. Bell III, W.M. Calvin, W.H. Farrand, T.D. Glotch, M.P. Golombek, K.E. Herkenhoff, J.R. Johnson, G. Klingelhofer, H.Y. McSween, and A.S. Yen). Science, 313, 1403-1407 (2006).
  • Overview of the Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover mission to Meridiani Planum: Eagle Crater to Purgatory Ripple (with the Athena science team). J. Geophys. Res., 111, E12S12, doi:10.1029/2006JE002771 (2006). Pyroclastic activity at Home Plate in Gusev crater, Mars (with O. Aharonson, B.C. Clark, B. Cohen, L. Crumpler, P.A. de Souza, W.H. Farrand, R. Gellert, J. Grant, J.P. Grotzinger, A.F.C. Haldemann, J.R. Johnson, G. Klingelhofer, K. Lewis, R. Li, T. McCoy, A.S. McEwen, H.Y. McSween, D.W. Ming, J.M. Moore, R.V. Morris, T.J. Parker, J. Rice, S. Ruff, M. Schmidt, C. Schroder, L.A. Soderblom, and A. Yen). Science, 316, 738-742 (2007).
  • Detection of silica-rich deposits on Mars (with R.E. Arvidson, S. Ruff, R. Gellert, R.V. Morris, D. W. Ming, L. Crumpler, J.D. Farmer, D.J. Des Marais, A.Yen, S.M. McLennan, W. Calvin, J.F. Bell, III, B.C. Clark, A. Wang, T.J. McCoy, M.E. Schmidt, and P.A. de Souza, Jr.) Science, 320, 5879, doi: 10.1126/science.1155429 (2008).
  • Exploration of Victoria Crater by the rover Opportunity (with A.H. Knoll, R.E. Arvidson, J.W. Ashley, J.F. Bell III, W.M. Calvin, P.R. Christensen, B.C. Clark, B.A. Cohen, P.A. de Souza Jr., L. Edgar, W.H. Farrand, I. Fleischer, R. Gellert, M.P. Golombek, J. Grant, J. Grotzinger, A. Hayes, K.E. Herkenhoff, J.R. Johnson, B. Jolliff, G. Klingelhofer, A. Knudson, R. Li, T.J. McCoy, S.M. McLennan, D.W. Ming, D.W. Mittlefehldt, R.V. Morris, J.W. Rice Jr., C. Schroder, R.J. Sullivan, A. Yen, R.A. Yingst). Science, 324, 5930, 1058, doi 10.1126/science.1170355 (2009).