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Physical Address:
Morrill Hall 105

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3010
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID 83844-3010

Phone: 208-885-6689

Email: vpresearch@uidaho.edu

Web: ORED

Map

Physical Address:

Morrill Hall Room 414
Moscow, ID  83844

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr., MS 3010
Moscow, ID  83844-3010

Phone: 208-885-6162

Email: ored-ora@uidaho.edu

Web: ORA Website

Map

Physical Address:

Morrill Hall Room 103
Moscow, ID  83843

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr., MS 3020
Moscow, ID  83844-3020

Phone: 208-885-6651

Fax: 208-885-4990

Email: osp@uidaho.edu

Web: OSP Website

Map

Physical Address:
Morrill Hall 103
Moscow, Idaho

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 3003
Moscow, ID 83844-3003

Jeremy Tamsen
Phone: 208-885-4550
Email: tamsen@uidaho.edu
Web: OTT Website

Map

Physical Address:
Water Center Suite 324
Boise, Idaho

Mailing Address:
322 E. Front St., Suite 324
Boise, ID 83702

Jana Jones
Phone: 208-364-4568
Email: janajones@uidaho.edu

Dragonfly: NASA Rotorcraft Lander Mission to Saturn’s Moon Titan

Dragonfly: NASA Rotorcraft Lander Mission to Saturn’s Moon Titan

The University of Idaho is part of a team that won the competition to design NASA’s latest planetary probe. Professor of Physics Jason W. Barnes is the deputy principal investigator of the mission. U of I alumna Shannon M. MacKenzie (Physics PhD 2017) helped draft the winning proposal and is on the science team as one of the mission’s co-investigators.

The spacecraft, named Dragonfly, will visit Titan, a giant ice moon orbiting Saturn. Titan is the only moon with a thick atmosphere. Within that atmosphere, sunlight drives carbon chemistry to produce complex hydrocarbon molecules. When those hydrocarbons mix with liquid water from Titan’s vast interior ocean or in impact melt pools on the moon’s surface, the resulting primordial soup resembles the shallow pools in which life formed on Earth four billion years ago. Because geologic activity has erased evidence of how life formed here, Dragonfly will explore Titan to search for chemical evidence that life may have formed there, and, if it hasn’t, how far prebiotic chemistry has progressed toward becoming biology.

With a budget of around $1 billion, NASA’s New Frontiers program represents the largest single competed scientific opportunity offered by the U.S. Government. Dragonfly now proceeds to its final design phase, followed by fabrication and launch on a rocket from Florida in April 2026. After cruising through space for over eight years, it will arrive at Titan in December 2034, landing on sand dunes near the moon’s equator.

Instead of driving on wheels like a Mars rover, Dragonfly uses eight propellers arranged in an over-under dual-quadcopter configuration to fly through Titan’s thick atmosphere and under its low gravity (1/7th Earth’s). After landing, it will embark on one of the most epic adventures in human history, flying between interesting sites on the surface of this alien moon for just under three Earth years.

Physical Address:
Morrill Hall 105

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3010
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID 83844-3010

Phone: 208-885-6689

Email: vpresearch@uidaho.edu

Web: ORED

Map

Physical Address:

Morrill Hall Room 414
Moscow, ID  83844

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr., MS 3010
Moscow, ID  83844-3010

Phone: 208-885-6162

Email: ored-ora@uidaho.edu

Web: ORA Website

Map

Physical Address:

Morrill Hall Room 103
Moscow, ID  83843

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr., MS 3020
Moscow, ID  83844-3020

Phone: 208-885-6651

Fax: 208-885-4990

Email: osp@uidaho.edu

Web: OSP Website

Map

Physical Address:
Morrill Hall 103
Moscow, Idaho

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 3003
Moscow, ID 83844-3003

Jeremy Tamsen
Phone: 208-885-4550
Email: tamsen@uidaho.edu
Web: OTT Website

Map

Physical Address:
Water Center Suite 324
Boise, Idaho

Mailing Address:
322 E. Front St., Suite 324
Boise, ID 83702

Jana Jones
Phone: 208-364-4568
Email: janajones@uidaho.edu