December 10, 2023

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NASA’s Titan Dragonfly will land on a field of sand dunes and shattered ice

rendering of odd helicopter vehicle against orangeish landscape

NASA’s Dragonfly mission will land Saturn’s largest moon on a land of sand dunes and shattered ice rocks, according to a new analysis of radar images from the Cassini spacecraft.

Launched in 2027, Dragonfly is a helicopter that will arrive in 2034 and explore Titan From the air. Its range would be much greater than that of a wheeled rover, with Dragonfly being able to cover about 10 miles (16 kilometres) on each half-hour journey, According to NASA. Over the course of its two-year mission, it will explore an area hundreds of miles or kilometers wide. However, before taking to the skies on its own, Dragonfly must first reach Titan under a canopy, a smooth landing on frozen terrain hidden from easy visibility by the thicket. hydrocarbon Smog filling the atmosphere of the moon.