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NASA's Dragonfly Will Fly Around Titan Looking for Origins, Signs of Life

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posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 10:16 AM
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NASA has announced yesterday (June 27) a mission to put a flying rotorcraft drone on Titan.

The craft is named "Dragonfly" and is NASA's first flying drone lander. It is planned to launch in 2026 and arrive in 2034. I'm not sure why it's an 8-year trip (Cassini took 6 years + 9 months to get to Saturn), but it might be due to launch cost-savings by having the craft perform gravity assist flybys. For example, Cassini performed gravity assist flybys of Venus and Earth on its way to Saturn.

Anyway, it sounds exciting.


NASA's Dragonfly Will Fly Around Titan Looking for Origins, Signs of Life



CNN Article - NASA's new mission, Dragonfly, will explore Saturn's moon Titan

Wikipedia Article on the Dragonfly Spacecraft


edit on 6/28/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Good luck 👍 the methane lakes when astral and rv is life but combustible life ☺️🤔 like worms or string like swimmers.



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Maybe add a submersible drone group...



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 10:41 AM
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originally posted by: Ophiuchus 13
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Good luck 👍 the methane lakes when astral and rv is life but combustible life ☺️🤔 like worms or string like swimmers.


Or microbrial life on the land.

This article below discusses the apparent imbalance in the atmospheric gases of Titan and asks the question "Is something on Titan eating hydrogen and acetylene?". Granted, the article does state that it could possibly be caused by non-life processes, but it is still quite possible for it to be a sign of a life process.

This is an older article (from 2010), but I don't know if the question has ever definitively been answered that there new evidence that points to it being most likely a natural geological (i.e., non-life) process that is accounting for the imbalance.

What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?


This lack of acetylene is important because that chemical would likely be the best energy source for a methane-based life on Titan, said Chris McKay, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., who proposed a set of conditions necessary for this kind of methane-based life on Titan in 2005. One interpretation of the acetylene data is that the hydrocarbon is being consumed as food. But McKay said the flow of hydrogen is even more critical because all of their proposed mechanisms involved the consumption of hydrogen.

"We suggested hydrogen consumption because it's the obvious gas for life to consume on Titan, similar to the way we consume oxygen on Earth," McKay said. "If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth."



edit on 6/28/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 10:49 AM
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originally posted by: Ophiuchus 13
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Maybe add a submersible drone group...

They want to use a submersible to look for life on Jupiter's moon Europa:
Astrobiology Magazine



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Honestly a few years ago I would have been all over this with excitement but I am so jaded beyond belief with NASA..

"If" something was found I have little hope we will hear the full story, it will be more "well we have signs of what could be life" even if a alien was witnessed taking pot shots at the drone with a space worm catapult, more little bits of information to keep the punters and 10 o'clock news satisfied.

NASA= Never A Straight Answer and sadly over the previous decades I hate to say it is spot on..




edit on 28-6-2019 by Petra137 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 11:27 AM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Now that's a mission I can get excited about , exploring Titan is an exhilarating prospect but the launch date is a bit disappointing , I mean 6 years !

Nevertheless , Bravo !



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: Petra137

Yeah, I have this same thought.

Curiosity was meant to "search for life" not "find life".

$2 billion dollars spent, and the best answer we have for life on Mars right now is this:
Maybe.

That's a very expensive Maybe, which is sad, because that's the same answer we had before we spent 2 billion dollars.



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 11:54 AM
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a reply to: Petra137

Honestly, microbial life is not as simple to positively detect as one might think.

There is limited space and weight on a space probe to be able to put the kinds of instruments required to make a definitive declaration. On Earth we sometimes require full laboratories to verify that microbial life processes exists in a given sample.

Even though it isn't that easy for our robotic landers, I bet if NASA did see an alien taking potshots it, they would publicly declare that a verification of life.



edit on 6/28/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 12:26 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People


Oh I do not underestimate the challenge of confirming life...

I just believe NASA are lying B@star7ds that have their own agenda that puts public enlightenment way down the list of priorities.



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 12:31 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People




I'm not sure why it's an 8-year trip (Cassini took 6 years + 9 months to get to Saturn)


Could it be because it has to decelerate? I don't remember there being much of an atmosphere on titan that can be used to airbrake with. It may also be a different drive. Ion drive maybe?



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 12:34 PM
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originally posted by: Petra137
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People
Oh I do not underestimate the challenge of confirming life...
I just believe NASA are lying B@star7ds that have their own agenda that puts public enlightenment way down the list of priorities.


I dunno. I think NASA would be the first to scream to the world that they found life if they ever did find definitive proof of life.

NASA has quite openly discussed tantalizing clues that point to the possible signs of life, but to definitively declare "yep -- it's life!" takes more than just tantalizing clues.

And they have no reason to hide definitive proof, and in fact have every reason to announce that proof if that had it. And that reason would be that they would almost certainly be given more funding if they did. Conversely, they are always in danger of losing funding if they fail to show any tangible results from their life-seeking science work.


edit on 6/28/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 12:45 PM
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originally posted by: Grimpachi
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People




I'm not sure why it's an 8-year trip (Cassini took 6 years + 9 months to get to Saturn)


Could it be because it has to decelerate? I don't remember there being much of an atmosphere on titan that can be used to airbrake with. It may also be a different drive. Ion drive maybe?


Titan has a very dense atmosphere -- denser than Earth's.

Even though Titan is smaller, and thus would have much less height of atmosphere "overhead" if you were on the surface of Titan, the density of that atmosphere would push down with almost 1.5 times the pressure than on Earth. Considering surface size of the two worlds, Titan's atmosphere is 7.3 times as massive than Earth on a per surface-size basis.


As for it needing to decelerate or if aerobraking can do it all, I'm not sure. It could be that they won't decelerate and rely only on aerobraking. That might mean that its arrival velocity needs to be limited, which in turn might means that the cruising velocity needs to be limited if there is no deceleration from trusting.

And, thus, that all might account for the additional time it takes to get there vs Cassini.


edit on 6/28/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: edit: Titan isn't a planet



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 12:52 PM
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originally posted by: Petra137
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People


Oh I do not underestimate the challenge of confirming life...

I just believe NASA are lying B@star7ds that have their own agenda that puts public enlightenment way down the list of priorities.


But what a great way to spend taxpayers dollars! Making research scientists rich beyond your wildest imagination. And perhaps they can find a nice place on Titan for the homeless here on Earth.

priorities?



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 01:12 PM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People
I'm not sure why it's an 8-year trip (Cassini took 6 years + 9 months to get to Saturn), but it might be due to launch cost-savings by having the craft perform gravity assist flybys.


Might also be because the planetary bodies are not in the same exact position they were then, and the distances and trajectories are different.



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 01:22 PM
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a reply to: olaru12

You jest, but Titan is one of the MORE hospitable worlds in our solar system.

The atmospheric pressure is high enough that a human would not need a pressure suit. Titan's atmospheric pressure at its surface is 1.45 times that of Earth, but still bearable for a humans. It would be just a little more than what a human would feel at the bottom of a 12' pool. In the Titan highlands, the pressure would be even more bearable.

Of course it's very cold and the air is not breathable for humans. But since the pressure is high, all humans would need to spend a little time on Titan would be a really good parka and a mask with an oxygen bottle.

How Humans Could Live on Saturn's Moon Titan (Infographic)

edit on 6/28/2019 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2019 @ 06:04 PM
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I'll save them the trouble and expense.

There ain't any.



posted on Jun, 29 2019 @ 12:40 PM
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originally posted by: Archivalist
Curiosity was meant to "search for life" not "find life".

No, one of the four main objectives was to "determine whether life ever arose on Mars".


GD

posted on Jun, 29 2019 @ 07:50 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

Things have to line up right for gravity assists. Throw weight of the launch vehicle also comes into play. I think Cassini did a Jupiter fly by. Not sure if dragonfly will.



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