NASA’s Dragonfly Will Fly Around Titan Looking for Origins, Signs of Life

Re-Blogged From NASA – Spaceweather
NASA has announced that our next destination in the solar system is the unique, richly organic world Titan. Advancing our search for the building blocks of life, the Dragonfly mission will fly multiple sorties to sample and examine sites around Saturn’s icy moon.

Dragonfly 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. Dragonfly marks the first time NASA will fly a multi-rotor vehicle for science on another planet; it has eight rotors and flies like a large drone. It will take advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere – four times denser than Earth’s – to become the first vehicle ever to fly its entire science payload to new places for repeatable and targeted access to surface materials.

NASA’s Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander
This illustration shows NASA’s Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander approaching a site on Saturn’s exotic moon, Titan. Taking advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere and low gravity, Dragonfly will explore dozens of locations across the icy world, sampling and measuring the compositions of Titan’s organic surface materials to characterize the habitability of Titan’s environment and investigate the progression of prebiotic chemistry.
Credits: NASA/JHU APL
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Chinese Lunar Rover May Have Identified Mantle Exposure

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Chang’e-4: Chinese rover ‘confirms’ Moon crater theory
By Paul Rincon
Science editor, BBC News website,15 May 2019

The Chinese Chang’e-4 rover may have confirmed a longstanding idea about the origin of a vast crater on the Moon’s far side.

The rover’s landing site lies within a vast impact depression created by an asteroid strike billions of years ago.

Now, mission scientists have found evidence that impact was so powerful it punched through the Moon’s crust and into the layer below called the mantle.

Chang’e-4 has identified what appear to be mantle rocks on the surface.
It’s something the rover was sent to the far side to find out.

Chunlai Li, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues have presented their findings in the journal Nature.

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CHINA’S MISSION TO THE FARSIDE OF THE MOON

By Dr Tony Phillips – Re-Blogged From Spaceweather

China is about to go where no one has gone before–the farside of the Moon. On the morning of Dec. 8th (Chinese time), a Long March 3B rocket is scheduled to blast off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province, propelling a lander and rover toward the lunar farside. If the mission succeeds, it will catapult China into the forefront of lunar exploration with a landing that no other nation has even dared to attempt.


Above: An artist’s rendering of China’s Chang’e-4 lunar rover

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