Skip to Main Content

Fran Bagenal

Fran Bagenal is professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder and is a co-investigator on the New Horizons mission. Her main area of expertise is the study of charged particles trapped in planetary magnetic fields. She is interested in finding out if the solar wind interaction with Pluto's escaping atmosphere acts like a comet.

Dr. Bagenal received her doctorate degree from MIT in 1981 and spent five years as a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College, London, before returning to the United States for research and faculty positions in Boulder, Colorado. She has participated in many of NASA's planetary exploration missions, including the Voyager mission to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

She was on the science teams of the Galileo and Deep Space 1 missions and looks forward to participating in the recently-selected Juno mission to Jupiter. Dr. Bagenal chairs NASA's Outer Planet Assessment Group that provides input from the scientific community on exploration of the outer solar system.