Tony Rice

Tony Rice

WRAL contributor/NASA Ambassador

Professional Experience:
2010 to present: Solar System Ambassador, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; 2000 to present: Senior Engineer, Cisco; 1992 to 2000: Senior Member Scientific Staff, Nortel Networks;1988 to 1991: intern/software engineer, BAE Systems/British Aerospace;

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, 1992, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Norfolk, Va.

Weather and astronomy are great “gateway sciences”, ones that so many kids have an interest in early on. This can lead to interest in other sciences (physics, geology, biology, etc.) and are a great way to stimulate kid’s natural curiosity. I also find so many people “used to” love weather and astronomy, it’s never to late to rekindle that interest.

Hobbies, Interests & Community Involvement:
Visiting to nearby (and not so nearby) museums of all kinds with my family, photography; NASA Langley Research Center Speakers Bureau

Wife, Lori; one teenage son

Favorite websites:, Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (, Heavens Above Satellite Pass predictor (,

Likes Best About North Carolina:
We are right in the middle of it all. Beautiful mountains with fascinating geology to the west and relaxing beaches filled with history to the east.

Most Memorable Assignments:
July 8, 2011, launch of STS-135, the final space shuttle mission. I presented on the shuttle program and hosted live viewing of the launch at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, N.C. It was humbling to be a part of that day just a few steps from where it all began 107 years earlier.

More about Tony:
In addition to blogging about astronomy and space exploration on the WRAL Weather Blog, I speak at schools, museums, and civic organizations in the Triangle and beyond. I also volunteer with the National Academy of Sciences Entertainment Exchange helping film and tv producers "get the science right” on storylines involving Mars and planetary atmospheres.