NASA will launch eight-rotor dragonfly drone to explore titan
 

NASA will launch eight-rotor dragonfly drone to explore titan

NASA is sending a nuclear-powered drone to titan, saturn’s largest moon, to explore multiple locations in hopes of discovering signs of microbial life. dragonfly, which has eight rotors and flies just like a large drone, marks the first time NASA will fly a multi-rotor vehicle for science on another planet.

NASA will launch eight-rotor dragonfly drone to explore titan

images courtesy of NASA

 

 

the drone will launch in 2026, taking eight years to reach titan with an expected arrival in 2034. it will first land at the equatorial ‘shangri-la’ dune fields, which are terrestrially similar to the linear dunes in namibia in southern africa and offer a diverse sampling location. it will then making short flights of up to 5 miles around the moon, stopping along the way to take samples from compelling areas with diverse geography.

 

dragonfly will conclude its mission at the selk impact crater, where there is evidence of past liquid water, organics – the complex molecules that contain carbon, combined with hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen – and energy, which together make up the recipe for life. in total, the drone will have covered 108 miles, nearly double the distance traveled by all mars rovers combined.

NASA will launch eight-rotor dragonfly drone to explore titan

 

 

‘titan is unlike any other place in the solar system, and dragonfly is like no other mission,’ said thomas zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science at the agency’s headquarters in washington. ‘it’s remarkable to think of this rotorcraft flying miles and miles across the organic sand dunes of saturn’s largest moon, exploring the processes that shape this extraordinary environment. dragonfly will visit a world filled with a wide variety of organic compounds, which are the building blocks of life and could teach us about the origin of life itself.’

NASA will launch eight-rotor dragonfly drone to explore titan

 

 

‘with the dragonfly mission, NASA will once again do what no one else can do,’ said NASA administrator jim bridenstine.visiting this mysterious ocean world could revolutionize what we know about life in the universe. this cutting-edge mission would have been unthinkable even just a few years ago, but we’re now ready for dragonfly’s amazing flight.’

 

dragonfly is part of the agency’s new frontiers program, which includes the new horizons mission to pluto and the kuiper belt, juno to jupiter, and osiris-rex to the asteroid bennu.

 

project info

 

company: NASA

drone: dragonfly

mission: titan

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,664 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample