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Flight Plans Newsletter

AVIATR – The Titan Airplane

AVIATR over the Titanian landscape - Image: Mike Malaska

Time: Saturday, May 5, 2012 - 2:00pm

Event Type: Public Program

Location: William M. Allen Theater

“Flying the Friendly Skies of Saturn’s Largest Moon”

With more than three times as much air and seven times less gravity than Earth, heavier-than-air flight makes more sense on Titan than anywhere else in the Solar System. Jason W. Barnes is part of a team that is developing a proposal to NASA to fly a robotic airplane on Saturn’s large moon Titan with a mission called AVIATR – Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance. Given the progress in the development of military UAVs, the technology is mature enough to attempt the first extraterrestrial airplane. Dr. Barnes will also talk about how NASA selects who gets to fly what where.

Dr. Barnes is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Idaho and studies the physics of planets and planetary systems. He uses NASA spacecraft data to study planets that orbit stars other than the Sun (extrasolar planets) and the composition and nature of the surface of Saturn's moon Titan.

This program is included with Museum admission and is Free for members of the Museum of Flight.