Cornell astronomer Steve Squyres, the principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rovers, will become Blue Origin’s chief scientist. (Cornell University via YouTube)

Just months after closing out the 15-year-long Opportunity rover mission on Mars, Cornell University astronomer Steve Squyres is taking advantage of a new opportunity: the post of chief scientist at Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture.

Today Blue Origin confirmed that Squyres, 63, will be joining the company, which is headquartered in Kent, Wash.

Squyres has been involved in NASA space missions including Voyager’s trip past the solar system’s giant planets and Magellan’s voyage to Venus. But his main claim to fame is his stint as principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rovers.

The twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, bounced onto different locations on the

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