Dragonfly on Titan

Nasa has announced that they will be sending a drone-like craft called Dragonfly to Titan, a moon of Saturn to map and sample the surface composition and terrain. 

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“Titan is unlike any other place in our solar system, and the most comparable to early Earth,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at the teleconference. The newly unveiled mission, dubbed Dragonfly, “will help us investigate organic chemistry, evaluate habitability and search for chemical signatures of past or even present life.” 

Expected to touch down in 2034 the project may offer insight into Earth's own origins of life. Some interesting tidbits:

Titan’s atmosphere is roughly four times as thick as Earth’s

It has about one-seventh of Earth’s gravitational pull, “flying on Titan is actually easier than flying on Earth,” said Dragonfly principle investigator Elizabeth Turtle of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. 

Over the course of its 2½-year mission, Dragonfly will journey over 175 kilometers — almost twice the distance traveled by all the Mars rovers combined.

Dragonfly is the fourth mission in NASA’s New Frontiers series, which previously launched the New Horizons, Juno and OSIRIS-REx missions to Pluto, Jupiter and the asteroid Bennu, respectively.

Sourced from an article by MARIA TEMMING JUNE 27, 2019
Photo Credit: NASA

 

 

 

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