NASA announced today that their next destination in the solar system is Saturn’s methane-rich moon Titan, and Project Dragonfly will fly multiple sorties to sample and examine sites around the icy moon. It will launch in 2026 and arrive in 2034. The rotorcraft will fly to dozens of promising locations on Titan looking for prebiotic chemical processes common on both Titan and Earth, marking the first time NASA is flying a multi-rotor vehicle for science on another planet. It has eight rotors and flies like a large drone. Read more for another video and additional information.
“Titan is unlike any other place in the solar system, and Dragonfly is like no other mission. It’s remarkable to think of this rotorcraft flying miles and miles across the organic sand dunes of Saturn’s largest moon, exploring the processes that shape this extraordinary environment. Dragonfly will visit a world filled with a wide variety of organic compounds, which are the building blocks of life and could teach us about the origin of life itself,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for Science at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington.