Ralph Lorenz

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Ralph Lorenz
Ralph Lorenz.png
NationalityUnited States
  • Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering
  • PhD in Space Sciences
Alma mater
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Kent
  • Planetary scientist
  • Engineer
Years active2006-Present
Known forServes as Project Scientist on Dragonfly, NASA's fourth selected New Frontiers mission

Ralph Lorenz is a planetary scientist and engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab [1] whose research focuses on understanding surfaces, atmospheres, and their interactions on planetary bodies, especially Titan, Venus, Mars, and Earth [2]. He currently serves as Project Scientist on Dragonfly (spacecraft), NASA's fourth selected New Frontiers mission,[3] and as participating scientist on Akatsuki (spacecraft) [4] and InSight [5].


Lorenz earned a Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southampton's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1990. For his thesis "Exploring the Surface of Titan", Lorenz was awarded a PhD in Space Sciences from the University of Kent in 1994. Lorenz spent 19940-2006 at the University of Arizona as a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist. In 2006, he joined the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.[6] [7]


Dr. Lorenz has published papers on most bodies of the solar system, using data from scientific instruments and housekeeping data from engineering instruments to investigate the surfaces and atmospheres of planets.

Dr. Lorenz has participated in several NASA and European Space Agency missions. He was a Young Graduate Trainee for ESA's Huygens (spacecraft) from 1990-1991 and continued on as a member of the Huygens Science Team.[6] [7] As a member of the Cassini RADAR team[8], Lorenz led the planning of Titan radar observations during Cassini's 13 year mission in the Saturn system. Lorenz was selected as a participating scientist on the Japanese mission Akatsuki (spacecraft) in 2010[4] and NASA's InSight mission at Mars in 2017[5]

He has also been involved in numerous mission concepts, including the Titan Mare Explorer (TiME)[9], the "Billion Dollar Box" Saturnian system study[10], Titan Airship Explorer [11], AVIATR[12], a Mars meteorology and seismology concept[13], and a Titan submarine [14].

Academic Books

Title Authors Publisher Date ISBN
Exploring Planetary Climate R.D. Lorenz Cambridge University Press 2019 978-1108471541
Dust Devils D. Reiss, R. D. Lorenz, M. Balme, L. Neakrase, A. Pio Rossi, A. Spiga, and J. Zarnecki (Editors) Springer 978-9402411331
Planetary Climate before the Space Age R.D. Lorenz Amazon Digital Services LLC 2017
NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens: 1997 onwards (Cassini orbiter, Huygens probe and future exploration concepts) (Owners' Workshop Manual) R.D. Lorenz Haynes Publishing UK 2017 978-1785211119
Dune Worlds: How Windblown Sand Shapes Planetary Landscapes R.D. Lorenz and J. R. Zimbelman Springer 2014 978-3540897248
Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Production of Entropy: Life, Earth, and Beyond (Understanding Complex Systems) A. Kleidon , R. D. Lorenz (Editors) Springer 2004 978-3-540-22495-2
Spinning Flight: Dynamics of Frisbees, Boomerangs, Samaras, and Skipping Stones R.D. Lorenz Springer 2006 978-0387307794
Titan Unveiled: Saturn's Mysterious Moon Explored R.D. Lorenz and J. Mitton Princeton University Press 2010 978-0691146331
Planetary Landers and Entry Probes A. Ball, J. Garry, R.D. Lorenz, V. Kerzhanovich Cambridge University Press 2007 978-0521820028
Space Systems Failures: Disasters and Rescues of Satellites, Rocket and Space Probes (Springer Praxis Books) A. Ball, J. Garry, R.D. Lorenz, V. Kerzhanovich Praxis 2005 978-0387215198
Lifting Titan's Veil: Exploring the Giant Moon of Saturn R.D. Lorenz and J. Mitton Cambridge University Press 2002 978-0521793483


Lorenz has appeared in numerous science documentaries and series, including NOVA, NASA's Unexplained Files, Horizon, and Wonders of the Solar System.[15]

External links


  1. "JHUAPL - , Ralph, Lorenz - Science Research Portal". secwww.jhuapl.edu. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  2. Zacny, K.; Lorenz, R.; Rehnmark, F.; Costa, T.; Sparta, J.; Sanigepalli, V.; Mank, Z.; Yen, B.; Yu, D.; Bailey, J.; Bergman, D. (2019). "Application of Pneumatics in Delivering Samples to Instruments on Planetary Missions". 2019 IEEE Aerospace Conference: 1–13. doi:10.1109/AERO.2019.8741887. ISBN 978-1-5386-6854-2.
  3. JHU APL. "Dragonfly Team". Dragonfly. Retrieved 2019-10-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "NASA - Scientists Chosen to Help on Venus Climate Orbiter". www.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "InSight Participating Scientist Program (INSTPSP) Abstracts of selected proposals" (PDF). NSPIRES.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~rlorenz/shortCV
  7. 7.0 7.1 Spring 2020, Dale Keiger / Published (2020-03-19). "Destination Titan". The Hub. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  8. "The Team | Cassini Mission". NASA Solar System Exploration. Retrieved 2019-10-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Stofan, E.; Lorenz, R.; Lunine, J.; Bierhaus, E. B.; Clark, B.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Ravine, M. (2013). "TiME - The Titan Mare Explorer". 2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference: 211. Bibcode:2013aero.confE.211S. doi:10.1109/AERO.2013.6497165. ISBN 978-1-4673-1813-6.
  10. Spilker, T. R.; Reh, K. R.; Elliott, J. O.; Lorenz, R.; Spencer, J. (2008). "The "Billion Dollar Box" Study of Science Missions to Saturnian Satellites". 2008 IEEE Aerospace Conference: 1–9. doi:10.1109/AERO.2008.4526246. ISBN 978-1-4244-1487-1.
  11. Hall, J. L.; Kerzhanovich, V. V.; Jones, J. A.; Cutts, J. A.; Yavrouian, A. A.; Colozza, A.; Lorenz, R. D. (2002). "Titan Airship Explorer". Proceedings, IEEE Aerospace Conference. 1: 1–336 vol.1. doi:10.1109/AERO.2002.1036852. ISBN 0-7803-7231-X.
  12. Barnes, Jason W.; Lemke, Lawrence; Foch, Rick; McKay, Christopher P.; Beyer, Ross A.; Radebaugh, Jani; Atkinson, David H.; Lorenz, Ralph D.; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Rodriguez, Sebastien; Gundlach, Jay (2012). "AVIATR—Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance". Experimental Astronomy. 33 (1): 55–127. doi:10.1007/s10686-011-9275-9. ISSN 1572-9508.
  13. Lorenz, R.; Oleson, S.; Cataldo, R.; Schmitz, P.; Colozza, A.; Bairstow, B.; Lee, Y.; Amini, R. (2014). "MASER: A Mars meteorology and seismology mini-network mission concept enabled by Milliwatt-RPS". 2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference: 1–11. doi:10.1109/AERO.2014.6836397. ISBN 978-1-4799-1622-1.
  14. Oleson, Steve. "Phase I Final Report: Titan Submarine" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1985744/