Scientists Plan On Landing A Drone on Titan, The Largest Moon of Saturn

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In recent news, a team of researchers revealed that NASA’s Cassini space probe detected rainfall on Titan during one of its flybys. But that’s not all, as scientists are now more and more attracted by the largest moon of Saturn, so they plan on landing a drone on Titan to study it more in-depth than ever.

On January 14th, 2005, the Cassini spacecraft deployed the ESA’s Huygens lander on Titan. It is the only space probe that landed on a space object beyond Mars, but, unfortunately, it couldn’t help scientists learn much about Titan as its batteries went out in only a couple of hours.

Now, scientists from the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory are eager to return to the largest moon of Saturn. They plan to develop, launch, and eventually land a drone on Titan so that they can explore that distant world better than ever. The mission would be called Dragonfly.

Scientists Plan On Landing A Drone on Titan, The Largest Moon of Saturn

“We didn’t know how Titan worked as a system before Cassini got there. We had tantalizing hints, but Cassini and Huygens really took it from being this mysterious moon to being a place that is incredibly familiar,” said Elizabeth Turtle, the principal investigator for Dragonfly and scientist at Johns Hopkins University.

Dragonfly mission would explore the moon’s surface from above but below the nitrogen-rich atmosphere that surrounds Titian, the largest moon of Saturn. The probe of Dragonfly mission would take advantage of Titan’s low gravity and its dense atmosphere to explore multiple sites. At the moment, the researchers submitted complete paperwork of the potential mission to NASA and are now waiting for a response.

“Not only is this an incredibly exciting concept with amazing, compelling science, but also, it is doable – it’s feasible from an engineering standpoint,” said Melissa Trainer, the deputy principal investigator of Dragonfly mission, and a scientist at NASA.

Vadim Ioan Caraiman

Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.