NASA designed a Dragonfly Drone to search Titan for “the recipe of life”

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Let’s talk about Dragonfly Drone designed by NASA. The device ( Dragonfly Drone ) will travel 180 kilometers from the surface of Saturn’s largest satellite and send information to Spain, the United States and Australia.

The NASA announced Thursday the launch in 2026 of a drone last generation that will land on Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn and considered analogous to the early Earth, so it is expected to provide information on the origin of life on earth. The autonomous flying device is the Dragonfly (dragonfly in English Dragonfly Drone ), which plans to run the landing in 2034 and start sending information that will be collected by space facilities in Spain, the United States and Australia.

Dragonfly Drone will have eight rotors arranged in a paired way with which it will move for almost three years through the surface of Titan, with stops in the dunes and in a crater where they expect to find traces of liquid water and complex organic elements, as reported the North American space agency. The sophisticated drone instrumentation incorporates devices to analyze the surface and atmosphere of Titan, as well as chemical evidence of life.

The optimal landing zone, according to the data provided by the Cassinispacecraft , are the dunes north of the equator of the satellite, similar to those in Namibia. The Dragonfly flights will be between five and eight kilometers away and will cover a total of 175 kilometers (almost double the length covered by all vehicles on Mars to date). They are destined for the Selk crater, where NASA states that there is evidence that liquid water, organic substances and the complex carbon molecules combined with hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen existed that “make up the recipe of life”, according to the statement of the agency.

The Dragonfly Drone will be designed to withstand temperatures of 179 degrees Celsius below zero and a surface pressure 50% greater than that of Earth. After being launched in 2026, it will fly over Earth twice to gain speed and reach Titan eight years later. A parachute system will take you up to one kilometer from the surface and, from that height, and with autonomous technology, will look for a landing place. For this, it will take advantage of the technology and experience developed for the current drones.

The radio signals broadcast from its telescopic antenna will take more than an hour to reach the Deep Space Network of NASA in California, Robledo de Chavela, 60 kilometers west of Madrid , and Australia without the need for intermediate satellites. The eight rotors, one meter in diameter each, can keep the flight even in the case of failure of any of them.

As Titan is 10 times farther from the Sun than Earth, NASA has not had solar energy to power the Dragonfly Drone, which will have a generator that will use the heat of a radioactive device with four kilograms of plutonium to generate electricity with which the batteries of the rotors will be fed. The density of the atmosphere (four times higher than that of Earth) and the low gravity will allow the drone to fly with 40% less power than it needs on Earth. Read about Hackers access to internet data here.

In addition, the Dragonfly Drone will carry a seismometer to hear possible movements of Titan and determine the thickness of the ice sheet. It will also have meteorological instruments and cameras.

A neutron generator will be used to determine the concentrations of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen thanks to two spectrometers. A sucker will collect samples of the perforations that are carried out to be examined and look for signs of life.

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