NASA Confirms Mission to Saturn’s Moon Titan: Dragonfly Mission

NASA has recently approved the Dragonfly mission to Saturn’s Moon Titan. The mission is set to launch in July 2028 and arrive at Titan in 2034.

Due to the delay, NASA has allocated funds for a heavy-lift rocket to reduce the cruise time and ensure a 2034 landing, though the specific rocket has not been disclosed. The vehicle for the mission has 8 rotors, each measuring 1 meter, and a mass of approximately 450 kg.

Once the vehicle reaches a low altitude, the heatshield will be ejected, and Dragonfly will be activated, dropping mid-air to autonomously locate a landing spot. The entire process is expected to take just over an hour and a half.

Following the landing, the vehicle will undergo system checkouts, communicate with Earth, and prepare for its first scientific mission. Dragonfly will be powered by a Multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG), similar to the Mars rovers Curiosity and Perseverance, providing enough power for flying up to 4,000 meters and up to 10 kilometers on a single battery charge, with a capability of reaching speeds up to 22 mph.

The mission’s timeline and capabilities are an exciting prospect for the next decade.

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