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The US Aeronautics and Space Administration “NASA” revealed plans to create a space plane that could one day fly over Saturn’s moon “Titan”, before landing on its “lakes”.
The Titan Air concept was selected earlier this month by NASA, as part of the Experimental Space Technology for the study. Now researchers will be able to develop and apply the ideas using NASA grant funding.
The plane, which will bear the name “TitanAir”, is supposed to fly in the skies of that icy world, before landing on Titan lakes, with the aim of investigating the chemistry of Saturn’s largest moon.
This icy world features a surface completely obscured by a hazy golden atmosphere.
Quinn Morley of Planet Enterprises in Washington was the first to conceive of the concept. “The vehicle will absorb methane condensation and organic matter through a penetrating section of the front wing,” he said.
He pointed out that “capillary tubes located inside the wing will collect this swallowed substance in a continuous liquid stream, which can be directed to scientific instruments inside the plane,” according to the British newspaper “The Sun”.
According to the “Sky News” channel, to enable intermittent low-altitude flying, the plane will land on the Titan lakes to become more like a “flying boat”, except that the word boat means floating above the surface of the water, and in Titan the lakes are made of methane.
NASA indicated that flying over Titan would be “relatively easy” due to its low gravity and thick atmosphere.
“The aircraft will transition seamlessly between flying through Titan’s atmosphere and navigating its lakes, much like a seaplane on Earth,” she added.
The Titan Air project is described as a “low-cost flying boat mission” focused on science of the atmosphere and lakes of Titan.
Titan is the second largest moon in our solar system, after Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, which is only 2 percent larger.
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