Dragonfly and Saturn

What is the Deal about Dragonfly and Saturn?

A theory is proposed by John Hopkins Applied Physics laboratory to NASA stating that a dual quadcopter drone which is radioisotope powered can be sent to explore Saturn’s largest moon, the Titan. The quadcopter is delivered to the moon of Saturn to study the prebiotic chemistry and if there is any life on Titan. The moon of Saturn has a carbon rich chemistry and also has a water-ice world. There is an interior ocean which makes it very curious for the scientists to check if there is any life on the planet.

Drones are slowly developing with today’s technology and get used for various purposes; it is brilliant to propose an idea to make the quadcopters take aerial pictures of a world which possibly sustains life.

Dragonfly and Saturn

The following are the things that are discussed in this post:

  • Dragonfly mission concept.
  • Science Objectives.
  • Design and construction.
  • Proposed plan.

Dragonfly mission concept:

The Dragonfly mission is sometimes called as the drone evolution. The increased technical ability in this drone makes it take flight from one geological setting to another atmosphere. The dragonfly would use a drone to transport instrument suite to multiple locations. These tools will calculate the measurements of the surface composition, atmospheric conditions of Titan and the geologic processes.

Science Objectives:

Due to the atmosphere of Titan, the compositions of the solid materials on the surface of the moon is not known. Only by measuring the compositions of the materials which are present on the surface of the moon, we will get the information regarding the prebiotic chemistry and research on it if there could be any source of life on the planet.

Some of the areas where more importance is given are the liquid water which has a potential cryovolcanic flow that interacts with the unknown organic material. The dragonfly would search for such locations and collect information of that area.

Design and construction:

The power given to the propellers of the drone is not required in a significant amount. Since the atmosphere of Titan is much denser than the atmosphere of the earth the power needed in the drone is less. It takes lesser power and energy for the drone to take flight on the moon. To be exact the power required is 38 times less than what the drone will need on the earth. The atmosphere of Titan is four times denser than that of the land and has a shallow gravity. It has about 1/7th of the earth’s gravity.

Proposed plan:

NASA has taken this proposal seriously since it is possibly an excellent opportunity to find if there is life on Saturn’s moon. Later sometime in November, NASA will select new plans regarding the study of life on Titan and the final selection is proposed to be made on July 2019. Hopefully, NASA sends the dragonfly drone to Titan. It would be a great expedition. With the improvement in technology, man has started to use various techniques to learn things which is much beyond his reach.

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