Dragonfly Drone to Fly Around Saturn's Moon, Titan

June 28, 2019 By IdeaConnection

Dragonfly DroneNASA has announced that it will be sending a drone helicopter to fly on Saturn's moon, Titan.

The eight-rotor drone will be launched in 2026 and should arrive at its destination in 2034.

Scientists are keen to get a closer look at the moon's lakes of hydrocarbons and crystal formations. It is the only other object in our solar system, apart from the Earth to have a permanent liquid presence on its surface.

This Dragonfly mission as it is called is part of Nasa's New Frontiers program of medium-class planetary science enterprises. The drone copter will land at the "Shangri-La" dune fields and then explore the region with a series of short-duration flights of up to five miles.

Insights into the Origin of Life on Earth

Among the items on the drone’s to-do list is to search for prebiotic chemical processes common on both Titan and Earth. According to scientists, the moon has the key ingredients needed for life.

"Visiting this mysterious ocean world could revolutionize what we know about life in the universe, said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "This cutting-edge mission would have been unthinkable even just a few years ago, but we’re now ready for Dragonfly’s amazing flight."

Facts About Titan

  • Titan is an analog to the early Earth and may provide insights into how life started here.
  • The moon has wind, rivers, seas and lakes.
  • The average temperature is -179C (-290F).
  • The icy world is the second largest moon in our solar system after Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.

For more information about the Dragonfly mission to Titan click here.

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