Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sail the seas of Titan

I love the idea that has been put forward recently to send a mission to Saturn's moon Titan to undertake the "first nautical exploration of an extraterrestrial sea".

Titan has lakes and sea, but unlike Earth they are not made of water but rather hydrocarbons. However they are by all accounts liquid, which means there can be ships and there are winds so there could be sails.

Though alas the current plan is to less to sail - as in controlled motion - but rather have a camera tower that allows the Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) to be drifted by the wind. From what I understand there is another plan called Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) that also includes a lake lander but it's batteries would only work for 3 hours. TiME however would have a thermonuclear power source to give it the range for some decent exploration.

Count me and my inner space cadet well and truly behind this voyage.

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