A new mission, including a non-pilot airplane, will explore Saturn Titan's moon's surface. The mission, called Dragonfly, received the prestigious funding from the NASA's New Border Program, which funded ambitious mission-finding missions in our Solar System. It will look like an unmanned airplane, with eight rotors, which help him to jump on the moon's surface for tens of miles within an hour. This will make one of these "hops" about once every 16 days, spending a lot of time taking surface samples and observing the time. The mission is led by Elizabeth Turson of the Johns Hopkins University of Applied Physics Laboratory.
Dragonfly is one of the two finalists to be considered for the New Frontiers Award. The other, CAESAR, led by Steve Squires from Cornell University, would try to take a piece off the comet's surface and bring it back to Earth.
The two missions had already gone through several racing rounds before the final decision. The New Frontier missions typically cost about $ 850 million in development, making them slightly more expensive than Discovery's missions, such as the Mars InSight Lander, which costs about $ 81
Only three other missions were funded through the New Borders program. The spacecraft, Juno, who travels around Jupiter, watches the exciting atmosphere of the giant planet and the magnetic field. New horizons captured by Pluto in 2015 and flew out of an object of the Coupe's belt in December 2018. ,
Like these missions, Dragonfly is expected to expand our view of remote objects in the solar system – in this case, the moon of Saturn Titan, whose strange chemistry and dense atmosphere have intrigued scientists for years. (This is the only moon in our system that boasts a significant atmosphere.) The Huygens probe, carried by Cassini, gave us the first glance at the surface of the moon. Then Cassini himself revealed that Titan has lakes of liquid methane on the surface, making him the only other body in our Solar System to boast of liquid beyond the Earth. Dragonfly's ability to travel across the surface will allow researchers to visit several places of interest during the planned two-year mission, potentially traveling hundreds of miles during this time.