Dr. Golombek’s research focuses on Mars geology in general and the prediction of surface characteristics at a lander scale from orbital remotely sensed data. In his career, he has worked on a variety topics related to the structural geology and tectonics to the Earth, terrestrial planets and outer planet satellites. Dr. Golombek has published over 80 Papers in Scientific Journals and 230 abstracts.
Dr. Golombek was the chief scientist for the Mars Pathfinder Mission, which successfully landed a spacecraft and the Sojourner rover on Mars on July 4, 1997. As Project Scientist, Dr. Golombek chose the landing site for the spacecraft and was responsible for the overall scientific content of the mission. He chaired the Mars Pathfinder Project Science Group, was a member of the management team overseeing budget and management decisions for the project, and led science team during surface operations. After landing, Dr. Golombek directed the presentation of the mission's science results to the press, the public and the scientific community. He appeared regularly on television news programs including the Today show and Nightline, with an appearance on the Conan O’Brien Show.
Dr. Golombek has lectured on the Mars Pathfinder Mission internationally and co-wrote the book Mars: Uncovering the Secrets of the Red Planet for the National Geographic Society. Dr. Golombek has served as editor and associate editor of professional journals, has convened scientific sessions at national and international meetings, and has served on numerous NASA science advisory groups. He acted as technical advisor on the film Mission to Mars. Dr. Golombek led the effort to select the two landing sites for the Mars Exploration Rovers, has been selected to serve on its science team and to act as a science team chief and long term planning lead during surface mission operations of the rovers.