Titan is an analog to the very early Earth, and can provide clues to how life may have arisen on our planet.
In under an hour, Dragonfly will cover tens of miles or kilometers, farther than any planetary rover has traveled. With one hop per full Titan day (16 Earth days), the rotorcraft will travel from its initial landing site to cover areas several hundred kilometers away during the planned two-year mission. Despite its unique ability to fly, Dragonfly would spend most of its time on Titan’s surface making science measurements.
The mission will launch in 2025 and land on Titan in 2034.
Earlier this year, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory space scientist and Dragonfly Principal Investigator Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle explained the purpose and details surrounding the mission, which at the time was still in its proposal and study phase. See her speech below.
Cover image via NASA