Lecture: 21 April “The Dragonfly Mission to Titan, and the Search for Life” by Chris McKay

21 April 2021, Wednesday, 8:00 PM, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“The Dragonfly Mission to Titan, and the Search for Life”


Dr. Chris McKay, NASA Ames, Sr. Research Scientist

The Dragonfly mission to Titan is under construction and scheduled to launch in 2027. Titan is the largest Moon of Saturn and has a rich organic chemistry with lakes of liquid methane and ethane on its surface. The goals of the Dragonfly include the search for life. Could life exist in cryogenic liquid methane and ethane?

Brief Bio

Chris McKay is a senior scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center. He received his PhD in AstroGeophysics from the University of Colorado in 1982. He majored in physics at Florida Atlantic University, also studying mechanical engineering, and graduating in 1975.

He has been a research scientist with NASA Ames since earning his PhD. His research focuses on life in extreme environments, and the search for life on other worlds in our Solar System. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions, including human exploration. Chris has been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to ice-covered lakes in Antarctica, permafrost in the Siberian and Canadian Arctic, many deserts including the Atacama, Namib and Sahara Deserts to study life in these extreme environments. He was a co-investigator on the Huygens probe to Saturn’s moon, Titan in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission in ‘08, the Mars Science Laboratory mission in ‘12, and also the Dragonfly mission to Titan, set to arrive in 2034.

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting “live” with the opportunity to ask questions:

Connect by 7:30pm on Wednesday, March 17th by clicking this Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/95830904603?pwd=UDNKdm16US9wK1EremdJeGptdjNNdz09

Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting.   If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 958 3090 4603 and password 116064 to join the meeting.

Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.

Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video. 

Club and welcome announcements will begin at 7:45pm and the lecture will start promptly at 8:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

SFAA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChuBJGp_iJYZ11q_ayA-q3A

SFAA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/152754481404310

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