When it comes to space exploration, Mars and the Moon have always occupied a center position. This fact makes it easy to forget that there are indeed other worlds in our solar system, which too deserve great attention. To this end, NASA is currently planning on launching a mission Titan, the largest moon on the planet Saturn, to discover the mysteries of the icy world.
NASA wants to know if there were traces of life on Titan. As a result, NASA has revealed that it plans to send a drone to Titan in the coming years, a mission expected to take place in 2026, in just under ten years. Called Dragonfly, it will spread over time; the landing on the satellite is planned for 2034. In terms of distance, the largest moon of Saturn is ten times further from the Sun than the planet Earth.
The purpose of NASA’s mission is to find out if there is evidence of life on Titan one day and understand how it started if it did. On the satellite, the temperature is currently -179 °C on average, while it has a rich atmosphere of nitrogen and carbon. Scientists say Titan is unlikely to have water on its surface, but an ocean might exist under the icy crust of the satellite.
For his part, NASA boss Jim Bridenstine said, “Going into this oceanic world could revolutionize what we know about life in the universe.” To this, Thomas Zurbuchen, in charge of the scientific activities of the space agency added: “Dragonfly will explore a world filled with a wide variety of organic molecules, which are the building blocks of life, and could help us break through the origin of life itself.”
While NASA’s rover Curiosity has traveled some 20 kilometers on Mars in seven years, Dragonfly should travel much longer distances. Equipped with rotors, the device should be able to travel more 175 kilometers in less than three years.