Geoffrey A. Landis:
Page for Geoffrey A. Landis's activities in science, engineering, space, solar energy, and technology development

Geoffrey A. Landis with Spirit model
me posing with the "Spirit" rover
photo by Barbara Sprungman

Writing is not my full time job. In my main job, I am a scientist at the NASA John Glenn Research Center,where I work on developing advanced concepts and technology for future space missions. Recently much of my work has been studies supported by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. I was also a member of the science team of the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rovers missions.

Science Stuff

Panorama from the Mars Exploration Rover "Spirit" during its mission exploring Mars!
hills on the Spirit landing site
I've worked on a number of different projects, ranging from solid-state physics to Mars exploration. Probably the best way to get a technical view of some of the work I've done would be to look at some of the papers I've published:
  • I was a member of the science team of the Mars Exploration Rovers mission, that landed the two rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity" on Mars.
    me with rover model
    me posing with the Pathfinder "Sojourner" rover
    Here's my experiment (visible at the lower right corner of the Sojourner's solar panel) on Mars!

  • Recently I've been involved on several projects with the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. I was the lead on projects "Venus Landsailing Rover" and Power for Interstellar Flyby, as well as the 1998 NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts project "Advanced Solar- and Laser-pushed Lightsail Concepts, and have been science lead on others, most recently "Titan Sample Return Using In Situ Propellants".
  • I have also been involved in many studies of Venus, including leading a Revolutionary Aerospace Wystems Concepts project to make a technology-based conceptual design for a mission to explore the surface and atmosphere of Venus. A summary of the mission design was published in the journal Acta Astronautica. The project (with video animation) is shown here; here is a link to an animation of the mission concept as a .mov file, and you can see my presentation (with pictures) at the VEXAG (Venus EXploration Advisory Group) on the web. You can also look at the slides from Lecture I gave about Venus exploration at MIT in 2008.
  • I participated in a 2003 field test of the "FIDO" rover. See me on sol 19 of operations.
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article about Solar Probe plus, a mission I work on.
  • I worked on MIP, a project to demonstrate making oxygen for rocket fuel on the surface of Mars.
  • I also work on the design of airplanes to fly in the atmosphere of Mars and Venus.
  • An especially fun project was working with a bunch of physicists and physicist/SF-writers at a NASA workshop on Faster than Light Travel. One result of this was that we determined that cosmic wormholes could have net negative mass. This paper was so interesting that the University of California put out a press release about it! I was featured in Discover magazine article about faster than light travel; the article is available from, and you can also read my comments about the article.
  • Another project I spent a lot of time working on is developing was laser power beaming to power spacecraft. You can read a brief overview.

  • In the News

    What I did on my summer vacation: some Mars Pathfinder Snapshots

    Science Forum

    Between 1992 and 2000, I ran the "Science Forum" feature of the magazine Science Fiction Age. Here are four of the Science Forum columns that I conducted or participated in.