NASA is as excited about the huge potential of a small drone as it is clevernessThe instrument, the first of its kind to explore Mars in a year, assists the Perseverance Large rover in its mission to search for traces of life. The Americans, however, were not satisfied with their laurels. US space agency It prepares to launch its first drone into a whole new but equally wonderful world of Titan, the moon of Saturn. Engineers have been testing a little bigger for some time Drone called Dragonfly.
Videos of the experiments conducted on California desert. We can see the skeleton of the same drone there. At first glance, it appears to be an ordinary device, but nothing could be further from the truth. The car is the most advanced of its kind in the world today. It was created to fly into the extraterrestrial atmosphere of a celestial body alien to us.
Dragonfly must survive The harsh conditions of Titan. On a daily basis, the temperature is minus 179 degrees Celsius, the atmospheric pressure at the surface is about 1.5 times greater than the Earth’s air pressure at sea level, and the density of the atmosphere is about 4.5 times greater than the density of Earth’s air. at sea level.
The plane will fly Full independent mode. This is related to Titan’s distance from Earth. The data transmission time varies from 1 to 1.5 hours in one direction, which excludes control from the ground. Titan is a space laboratory. A kitchen where the ingredients for the primal soup of life are brewed. That’s why we want to go there. More specifically, flying over it, thanks to the drone and its augmented reality capabilities, said Dr. Elizabeth “Zippi” Turtle of Johns Hopkins University.
Scientists test the drone over Imperial Sand Dunes in California. Ultimately, the drone will be equipped with two cameras. One of them will be installed in front and will be used to monitor the space in front of the car, while the other will be facing down. In addition, there will be onboard training for recovery and Soil sample analysis and seismometer. The latter will gather valuable information about tectonic activity and help determine the thickness of the ice covering the moon.
Interestingly enough, the Dragonfly will not be equipped with solar panels or batteries. engineers from NASA decided to use nuclear propulsionOr actually a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. The launch will take place in 2027, and in 2034 the drone will land on the roof of the facility. The mission will take place as part of the New Frontiers Program, which aims to study alien worlds in the solar system.
When the mission is carried out, the entire drone fleet will be operating on Mars, and the first human colonies may be established there. Titanium is one of the most interesting things we know. Surface temperatures are very low, there are natural reservoirs of liquid hydrocarbons, and the atmosphere is dominated by Earth-like nitrogen. Astrobiologists believe that there are ideal conditions for the emergence and flourishing of various life forms. Recently, an unusual molecule that was involved in the formation of human DNA was discovered there. Saturn’s moon in its current form resembled the Earth billions of years ago.
According to the plan, the task will be carried out In an area known as Shangri-La. It is located on the equator of the moon and is abundant in sand dunes. They bring to mind the views of African Namibia. The Silk Nozzle will also be carefully explored. There are signs of water being there before, as well as complex organic molecules based on carbon.
Scientists are planning this The scientific mission is to last 2.5 years. During its duration, the drone will travel about 175 kilometers from sandy areas and fly over methane and ethane reservoirs. The device will also check the state of the atmosphere. Scientists plan to take thousands of images of the entire globe, and then use them to search for traces of life and interesting formations that could tell the story of the evolution of this moon.
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