NASA Wants to Send This Submarine to Saturn's Largest Moon
Titan, the largest of Saturn's vast array of moons, is a bit of an anomaly in the solar system. Outside of Earth, it is the only other body known to contain liquid seas and lakes on its surface. Being that NASA is in the business of exploring such extraterrestrial curiosities, the administration has a plan to learn more about Titan and its largest lake, Kraken Mare. It involves a submarine. This is the first conceptual rending of that celestial sub, developed by NASA's COMPASS Team at the Glenn Research Center, which could autonomously probe the liquid methane depths and shoreline of Kraken Mare, collect oceanographic data, analyze chemical composition of samples, and beam that information back to Earth during a future mission to Titan. RELATED: The Seabreacher is the dolphin-shaped personal sub of your dreams
While such a mission would take years and years for NASA to prepare and execute, it isn't one without significant home-world merits. The space administration believes the exploration of Kraken Mare, which spans 621 miles and is estimated at nearly 1000 feet deep, could provide clues into understanding the evolution of life on Earth or lead to discoveries elsewhere in the galaxy.
Previous concepts for exploring Titan's lakes have been looked into, including 2009's Titan Mare Explorer which would float atop the lake's surface. That project has since been cancelled, though a similar mission would likely take place before NASA embarks on a Titan submersible.
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