The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is an independent pace agency of the United States. Ran and funded by the federal government, this agency’s job is to enhance the civilian space program. In addition to aeronautics as well as aerospace research, one of NASA’s most recent projects is called ‘Dragonfly”. Led by the team Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, this mission is led and ran by a group of hard-working professionals who are well experienced in this field.
What Is Dragonfly?
Project Dragonfly is an operated mission by the top space team NASA and manufactured by the Applied Physics Laboratory. Funded by the United States, this project is planned to launch in 2026 and should arrive at its destination in 2034. Project Dragonfly’s purpose is to send a remote-controlled robotic rotorcraft lander to the largest moon of Saturn named “Titan”. It is to study the prebiotic chemistry and provide information on extraterrestrial habitability. This robotic rotorcraft will also perform various vertical takeoffs and landings.
The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory is leading the Dragonfly team. These include top of the line scientists and space engineers. Furthermore, having a team if rotorcraft professionals who have impressive knowledge and hands-on experience on the subject. The staff of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has experience missions that included. Saturn. Titan. Pluto, and the sun. The Dragonfly dual-quadcopter will explore the vast area of the moon’s surface. Scientists found that calm, dense atmosphere will make flying the ideal transportation method for this mission. As an estimate, Dragonfly will be able to surface and cover tens of miles. Overall, is father than any planetary rover has ever travelled in history. For most of its time in space, Dragonfly will be spending most of its time on the Titan’s surface. Its job is to make scientific measurements.
Why Study Saturn’s Moon Titan?
Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, and this makes it an overall priority for exploration. Titan is an incredible ocean world with a dense atmosphere. As a result, they can support life, such as hydrological cycles of methane clouds similar to the ones on Earth. This cycle creates rain and moisture across the surface of the moon to fill crevices creating lakes and oceans. The amount of various complex organics that are available on Titan is attractive to scientists who want to learn more about potential life outside of Earth. Generally, it’s the same kind of chemicals that were on Earth right before life developed and evolved into the Earth everyone knows today. The possibly of potential extraterrestrial habitability is an exciting subject to study for the team at NASA.
What NASA Knows About Titan So Far
Scientists know a fair amount of information on Titan so far, however, not quite enough. This moon’s atmosphere is made of 95% nitrogen. 5% of methane, and tiny amounts of various carbon compounds. The methane and nitrogen molecules split apart when exposed to sun rays causing a chemical reaction and creating organic compounds, which are the building blocks for life. Saturn’s largest moon was first observed in 1979 and 1980. However, the chemicals and natural haze made the visibility of the surface impossible. Back then, technology wasn’t where it was as of today.
In 1994 scientists used an advanced telescope to see the moon; however, details weren’t apparent to the naked eye. On the flip-side, they did discover dark and light regions on Titan’s surface, which was a huge discovery. In 2005 scientists grew evermore curious so they created a Huygens probe to land on Titan. The Huygens probe was used to measure winds and the atmosphere. Furthermore, it was used to have a better view of the moon’s surface.
Why Study Ocean Worlds?
Studying an ocean world is essential to scientists as well as a rare opportunity to explore the origins of prebiotic chemistry. It’s exciting since it’s similar to Earth’s environment and will give scientists the knowledge and the proper samples to properly study this magnificent ocean world. The mission is to focus on studying habitability and examining prebiotic chemistry. Remember, prebiotic chemistry is the building block of life and is the ideal location for NASA’s investigation. When scientists study ocean worlds, it will give them the chance to understand life habitability outside of Earth’s atmosphere better.