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Beginning the Search for Life on Outer Planets: Through Europa’s Icy Looking Glass

NOVEMBER 14, 2008

Dr. Donald Blankenship

Research Scientist
Institute for Geophysics
The University of Texas at Austin



What is the talk about?

Could there be life on the cold outer planets of our solar system? Building on his expertise in radar sounding and ice sheets, Dr. Donald D. Blankenship will discuss an unmanned space mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, which is thought to have an ice-covered ocean that may host exotic life.

About our presenter

Dr. Donald Blankenship

Dr. Donald Blankenship

Dr. Donald Blankenship, a research scientist at UT’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), is a recognized expert on Antarctica’s ice sheets. Building on his expertise in radar sounding and ice sheets, Blankenship has become involved in the planning of an unmanned space mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, which is thought to have an ice-covered ocean that may host exotic life. He has served on several definition teams for NASA’s Europa Orbiter Mission. Blankenship has been actively involved in outreach to the public about his work, including interviews with the New York Times and National Public Radio. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 1989 and has been with UTIG since 1991.