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Special Colloquium – Hunter Waite – Exploration of Jupiter and the Galilean Moons
October 20, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Speaker: Dr. Hunter Waite Jr. (NASA, SwRI)
Title: Jupiter and the Galilean Moons: The Ongoing NASA Juno Mission to Jupiter and Future Exploration of Europa by the NASA Clipper Mission
New results and future plans for planetary missions exploring the Jupiter system will be presented. Juno has been exploring the system for several years probing mysteries of its origin, looking deep into the planet below the cloud tops, and exploring its aurora. Juno has recently embarked on an extended mission to explore the Galilean moons setting the stage for the next NASA mission to Jupiter, Clipper, which will examine the habitability of the icy ocean world moon, Europa.
Born in Huntsville at the start of the space race, Dr. Waite attended the University of Alabama and graduated with a BA in Physics in 1976. He received a PhD in Space Science from the University of Michigan in 1981 and worked on the Earth’s ionosphere and atmosphere at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama from 1981 to 1988. He then moved to Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in 1988 and began a lifelong period of research on Jupiter and Saturn. Selected Principal Investigator of the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer onboard the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan in 1992 – work that continued to the end of the mission in 2017. Dr. Waite was a professor at the University of Michigan from 2000 to 2006 and returned to SwRI to develop the Mass Spectrometer for Planetary Exploration, which was selected for the NASA Clipper mission to Europa in May of 2015. It will be delivered for flight in November of 2022. He retired from SwRI in September of 2022 and started an independent research company Waite Science LLC in October in Pensacola, Florida.