Planetary scientist and Mars explorer to present Condon Lecture


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Steve Squyres, a planetary scientist, geologist, and principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Project, will present the 2010 Thomas Condon Lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at Oregon State University.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and is designed for a non-specialist audience. It is titled "Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet."

The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in Austin Auditorium of LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus. The Condon Lecture, named after a pioneer of Oregon geology, helps to interpret significant scientific research for non-scientists.

Squyres is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. For the last decade, he has directed the scientific program conducted by the two unmanned planetary robotic vehicles named “Spirit” and “Opportunity.”

These rovers were landed on Mars in 2003 and have sent to Earth images and other scientific data that have fundamentally changed our understanding of Mars.  Squyres is best known for his research on the history and distribution of water on the red planet, as well as on Europa, a satellite of Jupiter.

Squyres will also give a more technical presentation on the topic in the George Moore Lecture. That event will be Thursday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m. in Gilfillan Auditorium, sponsored by the OSU Department of Geosciences.