Zach Yentzer alongside university affiliates involved in space-related projects, including John Adams, Timothy Swindle, Dante Lauretta and Mark Marley.

According to Top Global Universities and US News & World Report, the University of Arizona ranks among the top academic research institutions in space science.

The University is also one of the nation’s leading public research universities with total research activity of $761 million in fiscal year 2020, according to data published by the National Science Foundation. NSFs The Higher Education Research and Development Survey ranks over 900 colleges and universities each year and is considered the leading source of information on research and development spending at US colleges and universities.

The university’s R&D spending ranks 20th among public institutions and 35th overall. This ranking places Arizona in the top 4% of all US universities, public and private. The university also maintained its No. 1 ranking in astronomy and astrophysics spending at nearly $122 million. The HERD survey also ranked the university fifth in NASA-funded activities.

During a recent visit to the university, NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy called Arizona a “crown jewel”, referring to its “stately reputation in astronomy, planetary science and astrophysics”.

During her visit, Deputy Melroy heard presentations regarding the following activities:

  • from NASA OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, and OSIRIS-APEXwhich will visit the near-Earth asteroid Apophis.
  • The Near Infrared Camera, or NIRCam, instrument on board NASA James Webb Space Telescope.
  • from NASA NEO Surveyora space survey designed to discover and measure asteroids and comets that could pose a danger of impacting Earth.
  • from NASA Aspera mission, which will study the evolution of galaxies with a space telescope barely larger than a mini-fridge.
  • from NASA HelioSwarm mission, a “swarm” of nine spacecraft that will seek to better understand plasma, the state of matter that makes up 99% of the visible universe.
  • The High-Resolution Imaging Experiment, or HiRISE, camera on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
  • Hyperion, a mission designed to observe molecular hydrogen in our galaxy to better understand how stars form

The University of Arizona has a long history in space missions dating back to the founding of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the first Ranger missions to the Moon.

“Southern Arizona has an unparalleled and long-standing abundance of research infrastructure and professionals,” says Zach Yentzerhost of Tipping point and executive director of Tucson Young Professionals. “We thrive in space exploration, and I believe communicating that to a wider audience is fundamental to the university’s mission and Tucson’s economic success.”

Yentzer is proud to showcase the university’s space-related efforts through a series of conversations, where he referred to Tucson as the “southwestern space city,” alongside faculty and staff including:

John Adams
Deputy Director, Biosphere 2
Apple podcast | Spotify

Dante Lawrence
Principal Investigator, NASA OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission
Professor, Planetary Sciences

Apple podcast | Spotify

Marc Marley
Professor and Head, Planetary Sciences
Director, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

Apple podcast | Spotify

Tim Swindle
Director, Arizona Space Institute
Honorary Professor

Apple podcast | Spotify

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