The NASA drone that will go to Saturn

NASA has authorized the design and manufacture of the Dragonfly. What is it? Nothing less than a nuclear-powered drone the size of a car. It is destined for an unprecedented mission: exploring the organic-rich sands of the moon Titan. The NASA drone that will go to Saturn has already passed all the tests on Earth.

And earlier this year, Dragonfly passed all the success criteria of its Preliminary Design Review. With this they were able to schedule the date of the mission. Everything should be ready for launch around July 2028.

The NASA drone that will go to Saturn is ready.
The NASA drone that will go to Saturn is ready.

Tracking the moon

The Dragonfly is a real novelty in NASA’s plans. And it is a mission with unique characteristics to the surface of another ocean world. For this reason, it is designed to investigate the complex chemistry that is the precursor to life. There is great expectation regarding the results of your research.

Who will be in charge of building and operating this drone? The Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at Johns Hopkins University. And it will equip it with cameras, sensors and samplers to examine areas of Titan, Saturn’s large moon. These areas are known to contain organic materials that may have been previously mixed with liquid water. It is now frozen on the icy surface.

Previous tests

As reported by the APL in a statement, The NASA drone that will go to Saturn has already achieved important technical advances. For example, a progression of testing guidance, navigation and control systems over the California deserts that resemble the dunes of Titan. Multiple flight system tests were carried out in the exclusive wind tunnels of NASA’s Langley Research Center. They also ran a full-scale instrumented lander model. It was done through temperature and atmospheric pressure simulations in APL’s new 1,000 cubic meter Titan Chamber.

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