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NASA Dragonfly mission to Saturn’s Giant Moon Titan to revel Chemistry Leading to Life


Published on: March 19, 2023,

Saturn has giant moon named Titan. A new NASA mission to Titan is due to launch in 2027. When it arrives in mid-2030’s it will begin a journey of discovery that can bring new understanding of life in the Universe. The mission would be called Dragonfly. It will be equipped with instrument named Dragonfly Mass designed to help scientist to under the chemistry on Titan. It may also shed light on kinds of chemical steps that occurred in earth.


Titan has abundant carbon rich chemistry with interior ocean and past presence of liquid water on the surface makes it an ideal destination to study per biotic chemical processes and habitability of extraterrestrial environment. “We want to know if the type of chemistry that could be important for early pre-biochemical systems on Earth is taking place on Titan,” explains Dr. Melissa Trainer of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.


To accomplish the mission the Dragonfly robotic will capitalize on Titan’s low gravity and dense environment to fly at different point’s on Titan’s surface. The robot can provide access to samples in environment with a variety of geological histories. At each site samples less than a gram will be drilled. A mass spectrometer will analyze various chemical components of a sample by separating these components down to their base molecules and pass them through sensors for identification. DraMS and other science instruments on Dragonfly are being designed and built under the direction of Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. He will manage mission for NASA and is designing and building the rotorcraft lander.


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