News Archive / Author: James Rice
Dr. Jim W. Rice, Jr., is an Astrogeologist at the Planetary Science Institute, he has over 25 years research experience specializing on the surface geology and history of water on Mars. Dr. Rice is currently a Co-Investigator and Geology Team Leader on the Mars Exploration Rover Project (Spirit and Opportunity). Rice also has extensive mission experience as Associate Project Scientist on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey Orbiter Projects. He has been involved in Mars landing site selection and certification activities for every NASA Mars Mission since Mars Pathfinder. His career includes working for NASA, Astrogeology Headquarters of the United States Geological Survey, the Mars Spaceflight Facility located at Arizona State University and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory located at the University of Arizona.
Articles By James Rice
What’s in a name? Mars 2020 wouldn’t know, it doesn’t have one – yetDecember 30th, 2019
NASA's Mars 2020 rover is on the verge of traveling to the Red Planet and beginning its search for evidence of Martian life. But it's missing something very important.
Inside Opportunity: Oppy still silentNovember 1st, 2018
Dr. Jim Rice has provided this latest update from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Has the rover been silenced forever?
Inside Opportunity: Oppy still silent as dust storm begins to settleSeptember 1st, 2018
It has been a long 80 days. We last heard from our rover on the slopes of Perseverance Valley back on June 10. However, we are continuing to listen diligently every day during our programmed fault communication windows, as well as through the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. So far however - nothing.
Inside Opportunity: As dust storm continues to rage Oppy sleepsJuly 28th, 2018
Our Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover, situated at the Red Planet's Perseverance Valley located on the western inner rim of Endeavour Crater, continues to remain silent due to the ongoing global dust storm. The storm has placed 'Oppy' into a mode designed to protect her in instances just like the one the golf cart-sized rover is currently enduring.
Inside Opportunity: ‘Oppy’ fights for its life in massive Martian dust stormJuly 1st, 2018
Our intrepid Opportunity rover is currently in the midst of riding out a massive global dust storm that began May 30. This storm moved south down the well-known Acidalia storm track into Xanthe Terra. A few days later the storm had stretched from eastern Valles Marineris to northern Arabia Terra. It then moved across the equator and south toward Meridiani Planum where Opportunity is located.
Inside Opportunity: South!October 4th, 2016
The Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" is continuing its epic journey across Mars. It has discovered some interesting features along the way – as the science team honors the robotic geologist's predecessors.
Inside Opportunity: Red (Planet), White and BlueJuly 4th, 2016
The United States leads the way in terms of exploring the planet Mars, and Mars Exploration Rover team member Jim Rice shares his personal experiences as the nation marks its 240th anniversary.
Inside Opportunity: Dust devils, high-altitude clouds, and sulfur-rich soilsJune 2nd, 2016
Since my last update, Opportunity has traveled 100 meters westward up a slope in Marathon Valley to continue our search for the elusive phyllosilicates (clay minerals) that were detected from orbit by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometers for Mars (CRISM) instrument aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Inside Opportunity: Rover discovers its own ‘Easter eggs’ at Knudsen RidgeMarch 28th, 2016
PASADENA, Calif. — Since Opportunity celebrated her 12th anniversary on Mars back on the night of Jan. 24, our tenacious rover and science team have been occupied exploring the environs of Knudsen Ridge. This geological formation comprises the southern wall of Marathon Valley, which is located along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. It also has kept Opportunity, the team who operates her, and myself, very busy.
Inside Opportunity: Twelve years and counting…January 25th, 2016
Twelve years ago today on Jan. 25, 2004, was the day that MER-B, Opportunity, was scheduled to land on the Red Planet. Before the many milestones and discoveries that the robotic geologist would make could occur, it had to survive seven minutes of atmospheric entry.
Inside Opportunity: In the land of plentyOctober 25th, 2015
Winter is Coming! Opportunity is on the floor of Marathon Valley, located on the western rim of Endeavour Crater on the surface of Mars. She is continuing a valley floor survey for clay minerals (phyllosilicates). Marathon Valley is some 320 meters long and up to 100 meters wide – and it is just the latest location that Opportunity has visited since the robot landed in January 2005.
Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 50 years since the first full Saturn V test fireApril 16th, 2015
Fifty years ago, on April 16, 1965, the full power of the Saturn V was felt for the first time in a test stand firing of the cluster of five F-1 first stage (S-IC) engines at NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center located in Huntsville, Alabama. The five F-1 engines burned for 6.5 seconds and produced 7.5 […]
Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 50 years since the launch of Gemini 3March 23rd, 2015
The United States’ first dual crew member mission, Gemini 3, lifted off fifty years ago on Tuesday March 23, 1965, at 9:24 a.m. Eastern time from Launch Complex 19 in Cape Canaveral, FL. This was just 5 days after the Soviet Alexei Leonov’s first spacewalk.
Our Spaceflight Heritage: 50 years of EVA, Alexei Leonov steps into the blackMarch 18th, 2015
Fifty years ago today, March 18, the first person in human history conducted an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) which took him outside the safe confines of their spacecraft. Alexei Leonov, a cosmonaut with the former Soviet Union, achieved this milestone in human history when he exited his Voskhod spacecraft. The feat occurred during a time when the race […]
ESA’s Rosetta mission poised to ‘harpoon’ a cometNovember 11th, 2014
On Wednesday, Nov. 12, after a journey of nearly 11 years and an estimated 4 billion miles – scientists will attempt its first ever landing upon a comet. This double lobed icy body has been named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and it is about 2.5 miles across. If all goes according to plan, it will be one of the largest […]