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Dixie Forum to host presentation on robotic mission to Saturn

Dixie State University’s weekly lecture series Dixie Forum: A Window on the World will host a presentation on Saturn’s rings from a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.

Dr. Candice Hansen-Koharcheck will present “The Exploration of Saturn, its Rings and its Moons with the Cassini Mission” at noon on Nov. 7 in the Dunford Auditorium, located in the Browning Resource Center on DSU’s campus. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

In her Dixie Forum presentation, Hansen-Koharcheck will discuss the highlights of the Cassini mission, which went into orbit around Saturn in 2004 and collected and transmitted data about Saturn’s atmosphere until the very last seconds of its mission. In the last 13 years, the science community has learned an amazing amount about Saturn, its rings and its moons because of the Cassini mission.

Hansen-Koharcheck began her career on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Voyager Imaging Team, designing the camera image acquisition sequences for every satellite flyby that occurred during Voyagers' encounters with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. After that, she worked on the multinational Earth orbiting mission Ion Release Module to study the Earth's magnetosphere. In 1990, Hansen-Koharcheck began working on the Cassini mission to Saturn with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph investigation team. She is still a co-investigator as the Cassini project executes its extended mission phase and serves as a member of the flight team for the Saturn Cassini spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Trace Gas Orbiter, Juno mission to Jupiter and Europa Clipper.

After retiring from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2010, Hansen-Koharcheck continues in all her endeavors under the auspices of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson in addition to serving as chair of the NASA Outer Planets Assessment Group.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in physics from California State University, Fullerton and a Master of Science in planetary physics and a doctorate in Earth and space science from University of California, Los Angeles. She also has received many honors and awards from NASA and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Dixie Forum is a weekly lecture series designed to introduce the St. George and Dixie State communities to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews via a 50-minute presentation. Coming up, Dixie Forum will host Dana Carroll, a distinguished professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah, as he lectures on the genome editing at noon on Nov. 14 in the Dunford Auditorium.

For more information about Dixie State University’s Dixie Forum series, contact DSU Forum Coordinator John Burns at 435-879-4712 or or visit