James L. Green

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James L. Green
James L Green.jpg
Burlington, Iowa
NationalityUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Iowa
Known forDeveloped and managed the Space Physics Analysis Network; Director of the National Space Science Data Center; Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA
AwardsArthur S. Flemming Award (1988); Japan's Kotani Prize (1996)
Scientific career
InstitutionsNational Aeronautics and Space Administration - Science Mission Directorate - Planetary Science Division
Doctoral advisorDon Gurnett
Other academic advisorsJames Van Allen

James Lauer Green is an American physicist who received his Ph.D. in Space Physics from the University of Iowa in 1979 and who worked at NASA since then.

He began working in the Magnetospheric Physics Branch at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 1980. At Marshall, Green developed and managed the Space Physics Analysis Network that provided scientists with access to data. From 1985 to 1992 he was the head of the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) at Goddard Space Flight Center. The NSSDC is NASA's largest space science data archive. He was the Chief of the Space Science Data Operations Office from 1992 until 2005, when he became the Chief of the Science Proposal Support Office. While at Goddard, Green was a co-investigator and the Deputy Project Scientist on the IMAGE mission. He has written over 100 scientific articles in refereed journals involving various aspects of the Earth's and Jupiter's magnetospheres and over 50 technical articles on various aspects of data systems and networks. In August 2006, Green became the Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters.[1][2][3] In that role he served as a spokesman for NASA for planetary missions, for instance announcing the likelihood that there was once flowing water on Mars in September 2015.[4] Under his leadership at the Planetary Science Division, several missions were successfully completed or launched, including the New Horizons probe to Pluto, the MESSENGER probe to Mercury, the launch of Juno probe to Jupiter, the launch of Grail A and B to the Moon, the Dawn probe to Vesta, and the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity rover on Mars.[5]

In 1988, he received the Arthur S. Flemming award given for outstanding individual performance in the federal government and was awarded Japan's Kotani Prize in 1996 in recognition of his international science data management activities.[1] In 2016, Green was named an Alumni Fellow of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) at the University of Iowa.[6]

In a 2015 TED presentation, he covered the places in our solar system that are most likely to harbor alien life.[7]

In 2015 Green was a part of the NASA involvement with the film The Martian.[8]

In 2017, Green had an asteroid named after him, 25913 Jamesgreen.[9]

In 2018, acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot named Green as the NASA's new chief scientist, effective May 1, 2018.[10]

Green, a Civil War Trust member, has written about Civil War ballooning[11] and has spoken at the 150th anniversary of the first tether balloon ascension.[12] He served as an advisor on the Intrepid project, an initiative to construct and fly the world's first replica of a Civil War manned balloon, and presented a talk for its official first lift-off at the Genesee Country Village & Museum celebration in Mumford, New York on July 4, 2012.[13] On September 7, 2018, he presented "The Science of Ballooning During the Civil War" to the Philosophical Society of Washington (PSW Science).[14]


  1. ^ a b NASA Dr. Jim Green, Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC Page accessed April 3, 2016
  2. ^ Linda Arntzenius for Princeton Town Topics. January 30, 2013 NASA Scientist Jim Green Discusses The Revolution in Planetary Science
  3. ^ NASA NASA’s Jim Green: A Decade of Planetary Discovery Page accessed August 30, 2016
  4. ^ Kenneth Chang for the New York Times. Sept 28, 2015 Mars Shows Signs of Having Flowing Water, Possible Niches for Life, NASA Says
  5. ^ Staff, GPS World. April 22, 2015 NASA’s James L. Green to Headline ION GNSS+ 2015
  6. ^ 2016 Alumni Fellows of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  7. ^ Green, James, 3 moons and a planet that could have alien life, retrieved 2016-08-18
  8. ^ Seemangal, Robin. The Observer Everything We Learned About a Real Human Mars Mission From NASA (Part 1)
  9. ^ http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/MPNames.html#J
  10. ^ https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-announces-new-chief-scientist
  11. ^ "Civil War Ballooning During the Seven Days Campaign". civilwar.org.
  12. ^ "Ballooning in the Civil War". Ustream.
  13. ^ "Genesee Country Village's Civil War Balloon - The Intrepid". gcv.org.
  14. ^ "Aeronautical Beginnings - The Science of Ballooning During the Civil War - James L. Green". PSW Science. Retrieved 2018-09-05.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration document "Dr. Jim Green, Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC".