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NASA Will Send Flying Dragonfly Robot to Saturns Moon Titan

first_img We Now Understand Why Sean Connery Has Disappeared By Ryan Whitwam on June 28, 2019 at 7:01 am New TV Shows That Will Absolutely Get Canceled in 2019 The Movie That Killed Eddie Murphy’s Career Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. ‘It: Chapter 2’ Director Says He’d Love To Remake This Movie You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Most of what we know about Saturn’s moon Titan comes from the Cassini probe, which studied it repeatedly during its 13-year mission orbiting Saturn. Cassini is gone, but Titan is going to get another robotic visitor in the coming years. NASA has given the green light to the Dragonfly mission, a project to send a multi-rotor flying vehicle to the surface of Titan. This mission is on track to make history in more ways than one. Dragonfly is part of the agency’s New Frontiers program, which also includes Jupiter probe Juno, the OSIRIS-Rex asteroid mission, and more. This mission beat out a proposed comet sample return mission to become the fourth mission in New Frontiers. Dragonfly builds on a previously discontinued concept project called Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) that called for a balloon probe to circumnavigate Titan. Dragonfly is more flexible — it will be able to fly to specific locations to take readings on the surface of Titan. A multi-rotor drone wouldn’t be a viable way to explore most planets and moons, but Titan stands out. It’s one of the very few objects in the solar system with a thick atmosphere, up to four times more dense than Earth’s. Scientists are also anxious to get a close look at the moon’s lakes of liquid hydrocarbons and exotic crystal formations. Titan is the only object in the solar system other than Earth with permanent bodies of liquid on the surface, and NASA also believes this organic soup could contain the building blocks of life. Titan is the best place in the solar system to study this type of prebiotic chemistry. Dragonfly will have eight rotors powered by a Radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) similar to Curiosity, the Mars rover. NASA plans for a 2.7-year mission during which Dragonfly will move between multiple locations on Titan, covering at least 108 miles (175 kilometers). The Mars 2020 rover’s helicopter technology demonstrator will most likely be the first flying robot on another planet, but Dragonfly will be the first one to do science while flying. It will also be the most distant robotic explorer on the surface of a planet or moon. NASA is working with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to develop the lander, but the project is just leaving the proposal phase. Some details of the mission could still change before launch, which is scheduled for 2026. Dragonfly should arrive on Titan in 2034.Now read:Astronomers Find Evidence of Seasonal Weather on TitanTitan’s Lakes May Have ‘Bathtub Rings’ of Bizarre CrystalsNASA New Frontiers Finalists: Titan Quadcopter, Comet Sample Return Mission Little Lucy From ‘Narnia’ is Head-Turningly Gorgeous Now at 23 Little Jenny From ‘Forrest Gump’ Is 34 Now and Gorgeous NASA Will Send Flying ‘Dragonfly’ Robot to Saturn’s Moon Titan Dani From ‘Girl Next Door’ is Absolutely Gorgeous Now at 36 Tagged In sciencespacesaturntitandragonfly Post a Comment 16 Comments 16 Comments 10 Scientifically Proven Side Effects of Growing a Beardlast_img read more