NASA Sending a Drone to Saturn’s Moon
NASA announced that they are planning a planetary science mission called Dragonfly to Saturn’s moon Titan. After it lands, it will fly a drone in Titan’s dense atmosphere and low gravity. Sounds exciting? Keep reading to learn all the details!
Titan is a moon with Earth-like geological surface features and iced landscapes. The rich organic chemistry could potentially nurture habitable environments.
NASA is planning the launch for 2026 and based on their calculations, the spacecraft will reach Titan in 2034. During its mission, Dragonfly will cover between 100 and 120 miles. NASA is counting on Dragonfly to work in the moon’s icy environment for at least 2.5 years. If you are wondering how cold it is on Titan – we have the answer: it’s – 300 F⁰.
“Titan is such an amazing, complex destination,” says Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle, a Dragonfly Principal Investigator at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “We don’t know the steps that were taken on Earth to get from chemistry to biology, but we do know that a lot of that prebiotic chemistry is actually happening on Titan.”
Dragonfly is well equipped for the upcoming journey. It’s powered by a radioactive thermal electric generator, a nuclear power source, and batteries. It houses cameras, mass spectrometers, and lots of drills. Finally, Dragonfly is like the size of the Mars Curiosity rover.
Titan is almost twice the size of Earth’s moon. It often rains on, but all liquids that rain, pool, and flow on the surface are comprised of hydrocarbons, methane, and ethane. There might be water under the surface and potential volcanic activity as well. These factors might contribute to the possible presence of habitable environments. NASA states that Dragonfly will be fully prepared to meet Titan and to deal with its environment.
It’s always interesting to learn exciting news from the outer space and actually see what’s out there. Miami Jet has always been following news of the latest space missions. Our team will gladly share any upcoming news about Dragonfly and its journey for our website visitors and social media followers. Follow us on Facebook to stay tuned!
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