As a part of NASA’s New Frontiers mission, the Dragonfly drone will explore the terrain of Saturn’s moon, Titan, in search of key ingredients for life.
» Subscribe to Seeker!http://bit.ly/subscribeseeker
» Watch more Countdown to Launch: http://bit.ly/CTLplaylist
NASA’s next solar system exploration mission will send a drone-like rotorcraft, called the Dragonfly drone, to Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
The Dragonfly team won NASA’s New Frontiers competition, the same program that the New Horizons spacecraft participated in. NASA considers this competition a representation of the critical step in the advancement of solar system and space exploration.
The Dragonfly mission is led by a team out of John Hopkins University, but it was an international collaboration to get the unique duel quadcopter design.The spacecraft is expected to touch down in 2034 in the moon’s dune fields and then fly to dozens of different locations.
Once on the ground, the Dragonfly drone will use various instruments to identify the terrain’s chemical composition, listen for Titanquakes, monitor atmospheric conditions, and more.
Dragonfly’s ultimate destination is the Selk impact crater, where there’s evidence of past liquid water and complex organic molecules.
The nuclear drone is expected to launch in 2026. Learn more about the Dragonfly nuclear drone, the Dragonfly mission, and what scientists hope to find on Saturn’s moon, Titan, in this episode of Countdown To Launch.
NASA’s Crazy Plan to Send a Space Submarine to Titan
NASA drone will soar over Saturn’s largest moon
“The nuclear-powered Dragonfly can fly tens of kilometres in less than an hour, allowing it to cover ground much faster than a wheeled rover could. Over the course of a two-year mission, the drone could traverse hundreds of kilometres.”
“Titan has clouds, rain, rivers, lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons like methane and ethane. The largest seas are hundreds of feet deep and hundreds of miles wide. Beneath Titan’s thick crust of water ice is more liquid—an ocean primarily of water rather than methane.”
“ESA’s Huygen’s probe was designed to study the smog-like atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon Titan as it parachuted to the surface. It also carried cameras to photograph the moon’s surface. Huygen’s traveled to Saturn aboard NASA’s Cassini orbiter.”
Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.
Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.
Visit the Seeker website https://www.seeker.com/videos
Elements on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SeekerElements/
Seeker on Twitter http://twitter.com/seeker
Seeker on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SeekerMedia/