Tuesday, August 29, 2017

DRAGONFLY PROBE COULD BE THE NEXT NASA MISSION TO TITAN

Diagram of Titan
 Scientists at the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have submitted an official proposal to NASA to send a Dragonfly concept to Titan, Saturn's moon, as a New Frontiers-class mission. NASA is expected to select a few proposals for further study later this fall - yet only one will be chosen as an actual mission.
 Dragonfly would utilize a dual-quadcopter setup to vertically takeoff and explore Titan's atmosphere while also conducting science on the surface. Furthermore, the craft would be used to investigate Titan's methane lakes to understand what reactions occur there. In addition, Dragonfly would use remote-sensing observations to collect data regarding the moon's structural and subsurface geology.
 The ultimate goal of this mission would be to learn more about Titan's mysterious environment. This moon not only has a methane cycle similar to Earth's water cycle, but it is also rich in prebiotic and organic chemistry. In other words, Titan is an 'ocean world' of our Solar System that has the potential to support life under the proper conditions.
Read more about this fascinating story at: https://www.universetoday.com/136935/dragonfly-proposed-nasa-daring-new-frontiers-mission-titan/
Image: Structure of Titan via A. D. Fortes/UCL/STFC

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