The surface exploration of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, just got one step closer to reality as NASA’s much-anticipated Dragonfly mission recently received approval from the powers that be to advance to Phase C, which is designated as Final Design and Fabrication, according to NASA’s Systems Engineering Handbook. This comes after the Dragonfly team successfully completed all the requirements for Phase B in March 2023, also known as the Preliminary Design Review or Preliminary Design and Technology Completion in the NASA Systems Engineering Handbook.Continue reading “Titan Dragonfly is Go!…. for Phase C”
The highly-anticipated Dragonfly robotic rotocraft mission to Saturn’s moon Titan is scheduled to launch in 2027. When it arrives in the mid-2030s, it will hover and zoom around in the thick atmosphere of Titan, sampling the air and imaging the landscape. What could be more exciting than that!?
Well, actually … there’s more: Dragonfly will also be equipped with a mass spectrometer that will help it search for the chemistry of life in this alien world. Astrobiologists want to know if Titan has the same type of chemistry on its surface that Earth did in its early history, which could have helped give rise to life on our planet.Continue reading “If Titan Has the Chemistry For Life, Dragonfly Could Find it”
This week we are airing Fraser’s pre-recorded interview with Dr. Ralph Lorenz, planetary scientist and aerospace engineer from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Ralph is the Mission Architect of the upcoming Dragonfly Mission to Titan, and the author of the new book, Saturn’s Moon Titan Owners’ Workshop Manual.Continue reading “Weekly Space Hangout: November 18, 2020 – Dr. Ralph Lorenz, Planetary Scientist and Dragonfly Mission Architect”
There are few places in the Solar System which are as fascinating as Saturn’s moon Titan. It’s a world with a thicker atmosphere than Earth. Where it’s so cold that it rains ammonia, forming lakes, rivers and seas. Where water ice forms mountains.
Like Europa and Encleadus, Titan could have an interior ocean of liquid water too, a place where there might be life.Continue reading “How Habitable is Titan? NASA is Sending the Titan Dragonfly Helicopter to Find Out”