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Questions tagged [titan]

Questions relating to the exploration of Titan, a moon of Saturn.

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How to model the gravity of Titan in GMAT

I would like to know how to find the gravity file (.cof) for Saturn's moon Titan. Need this to model the gravity field of Titan.
D P's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
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Could a Nuclear-Thermal turbine keep a winged craft aloft on Titan at 5000m ASL?

It's what it sounds like: Given the output of the NASA nuclear reactor (the one they're going to use for the Artemis program), and the use of an electric-motor-driven turbine system, how feasible is a ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
90 views

Aerostats in the outer solar system

Having read a lot lately about some preliminary studies of aerostat options on Venus and Earth (Semirigid gas bags filled with N2/O2 to allow for a dual breathable/lifting gas - sorry no source on ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
107 views

Using orbital construction around another body to build probes

It's what it sounds like: I want to know whether sending a probe builder to orbit a moon or a planet (for this question I'm thinking of Titan or another smallish body in the outer system.), to build ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
23 votes
3 answers
3k views

How does Titan have hydrogen in its atmosphere?

Titan's atmosphere contains few tenths of a percent of hydrogen. This seems odd to me, as Earth with a 4x greater escape velocity cannot retain hydrogen or even helium in its atmosphere. Titan is 3x ...
blademan9999's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
118 views

Does NASA's Titan explorer Dragonfly have a microscope? How will it observe potential microbial life?

One of NASA's stated goals with the Dragonfly mission is to "study astrobiology, prebiological chemistry, and the potential habitability of an extraterrestrial environment." I would think it ...
Drake P's user avatar
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8 votes
0 answers
126 views

How do people know how big the rocks are in the photos of Titan's surface?

How do people know how big the rocks are in the photos of Titan's surface?
space-enthusiast's user avatar
1 vote
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What should be the mission plan in order to reach TITAN (SATURN) by a group of 15 people for Scientific Exploration? [closed]

I am working on a project where we have to design a Mission to TITAN by Digitally construct and document the development of a six-month long human settlement on Titan (Moon), bearing the capability to ...
Pranay's user avatar
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4 votes
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Just how locked is Titan? Does it exhibit libration due to eccentricity? Have residual oscillations not yet damped out been detected or ruled out?

Under Where is the Selk crater on Titan with respect to Saturn? there is @BrendanLuke15's comment which provides a helpful hint: Tidally locked moons have their 0° longitude defined as the 'sub-...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Where is the Selk crater on Titan with respect to Saturn?

The Dragonfly mission to Titan will land at the Selk crater. Titan is tidally locked in synchronous rotation with Saturn and I'm trying to find out if Dragonfly will be on the Saturn-facing side of ...
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
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9 votes
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How do they know that the Dragonfly helicopter won't get quickly coated in tholin muck? Any desliming technology for camera lenses or propellors?

From Air and Space's Dragonfly Is the First Aircraft Built for the Outer Solar System; NASA returns to Saturn’s largest moon with a rover that can fly. which I just found in this heavily-sourced ...
uhoh's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the pop-up circular disk with spiral pattern in this NASA animation of the Dragonfly helicopter for Titan? Antenna? Kind, band, target?

At 00:36 in the June 2019 NASA video Dragonfly: NASA's New Mission to Explore Saturn's Moon Titan the animation shows it landing then deploying a circular disk with ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
142 views

Closed oxygen cycle methane-burning internal combustion engine for Titan rover/helicopter? Works like a battery together with RTG that won't freeze?

@TildalWave's answer to Methane internal combustion engines for rovers on Mars and Moon. Feasibility? raises the possibility of using Titan's atmospheric methane for an energy source as long as you ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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How can they be so sure that Dragonfly will "freeze to death" as opposed to simply (and eventually) running out of RTG power? (238Pu decay)

tl;dr: "...will probably freeze to death...before it runs out of power..." If power keeps it from freezing to death and it hasn't run out of power, why would it freeze to death? Space.com's ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
354 views

Could a helicopter escape Titan?

Titan has 50% denser atmosphere than Earth and a fraction of the gravity. Could a helicopter-like probe, similar to the Dragonfly or Ingenuity, generate enough lift and velocity to escape Titan? Or ...
VIBrunazo's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Suit for Titan Life

I was wondering what suit I'd need for Titan, The design of the Suit, and the oxygen system of the Suit? I know that you'd need a suit that can keep you warm and supply oxygen but how would it do it? ...
LazyPinCushion's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
156 views

How low would a full revolution around Titan and Triton be possible?

A lowest circular orbit to remain stable around the Earth is possible at an altitude of about 95 mi (155 km) while the lowest perigee for a stable elliptical orbit around the Earth would be around 55 ...
LoveForChrist's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
132 views

Titan mountains = downwelling in it's ocean?

Titan, unlike earth has a liquid (mostly) water ocean beneath it's icy crust. (I think) this prevents plate tectonics because it isn't viscous enough to drag the crust with it. The heating of said ...
Kevin Kostlan's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
158 views

Would potential astronauts on Titan be in danger of being blown away?

Titan (the largest moon of Saturn) has a thicker and denser atmosphere than the Earth and a surface gravity of less than 1/7 that of the Earth. So potential visitors would be very light and what would ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
51 views

Organized sources of information collected by Cassini-Huygens?

I'm looking for places or repositories where is the information collected by the Cassini mission including the Huygens probe at Titan, ideally curated or organized in some way.
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
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Antenna required to reach titan

There are two 12U cubesats, one in Earth orbit and one in orbit around Titan. They have a transmit power of 700 W (for short periods) and have identical antennas. What diameter and what type of ...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
328 views

What are the most effective deep-space propulsion systems?

I am looking for a powerful propulsion system for deep space missions. I am between a powerful ionic motor or a VASIMIR (variable specific impulse magnetoplasm motor). What do you think? The idea ...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the delta-v required to reach Titan (Saturn's moon)

How much speed do I need to put something to orbit on Titan? I know it is a simple question but look among those maps that are there but they are not clear to me.
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
209 views

Underground sea in Titan, is it water or hydrocarbons?

The truth is that I have read a lot and I have become confused, the underground sea that Titan has, is it water or hydrocarbons, is anyone certain?
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Challenges to building a human habitat on Titan (Saturn's Moon)?

I have been studying Titan for a while, reading documents from Cassini and Huygens (probes). On Titan there is an atmosphere, layer of clouds, seas of hydrocarbons (fuel and plastic for many centuries)...
Valentino Zaffrani's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
66 views

Hydrocarbons of Titan: Potential Applications

Imagine in the future that some space agency or corporation has deployed a manned mission to Saturn's moon Titan with the intent of collecting samples of its hydrocarbons. This is to be accomplished ...
Jem's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why are we interested in visiting the giant planets' icy moons?

I have noticed lately that future missions by NASA and ESA are targeted towards the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. They mention that they might be a possibility of life; the icy moons they are focusing ...
John's user avatar
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31 votes
2 answers
4k views

Huygens Lander: Why The Short Battery Life?

I was reading into the Cassini–Huygens mission and was surprised to learn that the Huygens probe had a battery life of only 3 hours. Wikipedia doesn't seem to mention why this was the case. What ...
BMF's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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Comparison of Titan to Europa

Why does Titan have an atmosphere denser than that of the Earth? And why does Europa not have even a fraction of Titans atmosphere given that it is not that small as compared to Titan?
Artemis2100's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
198 views

Can we observe the Titan's surface from its orbit?

Titan's atmosphere is dense (1,5x earth) and described as a opaque smog. Is it possible, despite that, to see something? Or it's the same problem than with Venus surface? I know there are radar & ...
Bartolomo's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
585 views

Could SpaceX's Starship's landing and restart process work on Titan?

Gravity on Saturn's moon Titan is much weaker and the atmosphere is far denser than either Earth's or Mars', which Starship seems to have been designed for. Could an unmanned Starship do an Earth-...
HannesH's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
207 views

Has any mission to Titan tested the idea of producing electricity from Saturn's magnetic field?

From an answer to Astronomy SE question How does Titan maintain the atmosphere And we know the idea of generating electricity with a coil orbiting through a planet's magnetic field is sound in ...
Pelinore's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
373 views

Colonisation of Titan

Titan has an abundance of hydrocarbons. Earthbound animals live on carbohydrates that are metabolised by elements like Oxygen that is found on Earth. Is there a possibility of different metabolism ...
Calcutta's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
105 views

Are there both "lake" and "sea" designations on Titan? Officially or otherwise?

@TomSpilker's excellent answer to How (the heck) do they know some lakes on Titan are 100 meters deep? says at the very end: As far as the lakes (smaller than the seas) go, as the sources you cite ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
1 answer
387 views

Can Dragonfly make it to one of Titan's Lakes?

Dragonfly is a drone set to land on Titan in the mid 2030s. As I've read, Saturn - and thus, Titan - won't be in the right orbital position at the time to allow for direct contact with the drone if it ...
jos's user avatar
  • 1,073
6 votes
1 answer
247 views

How will Dragonfly (mission to Titan) keep from flipping over?

The animation in the announcement article shows landing on a perfectly smooth surface. That's not what the photo from Huygens shows - a lot of rocks and pebbles. And as anyone who played with drones/...
SF.'s user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
575 views

How (the heck) do they know some lakes on Titan are 100 meters deep?

JPL News item NASA's Cassini Reveals Surprises with Titan's Lakes NASA's Solar System Dynamics New item Cassini Reveals Surprises with Titan's Lakes point out that some lakes on Titan have been ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
0 answers
161 views

How large of a mirror would be needed to warm Titan up?

How large of a mirror would be needed to warm Titan up to ~290K? Paul Birch in his paper "Terroforming Mars Quickly" calculated a mirror size of: Support Mirror: 2.5 x 10^7m radius 3x 105m wide ...
Pepe Cossio's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
238 views

Conditions on Titan under which human breath can be set to fire

Motivated by the question Titan vs Mars for colonization, I wonder what exactly happens if human exhalation products are released into Titanian atmosphere and, say, a spark igniter happens to be ...
Everyday Astronaut's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
327 views

Does the Dragonfly project (quadcopters on Titan) envision attached RTG's or would they be static and revisited for charging?

In this answer I link to the Phys.org article Researcher sets eyes on Saturn's largest moon which describes the Dragonfly project, a way to explore extended areas of Titan's surface difficult to probe ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
478 views

How would humans with appropriate equipment travel the surface of Saturn's moon Titan on foot?

Taking into account the physical characteristics of Titan (e.g. surface gravity, atmospheric pressure), what would be the most efficient method of motion for an astronaut to travel the surface of ...
Oak's user avatar
  • 51
3 votes
1 answer
264 views

Is Titan still the best bet for Extra-Terrestrial life?

I remember reading - probably decades ago - that Titan would be the most likely body within out Solar System to contain life. If memory serves, this was due to methane in the atmosphere and what were ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 295
4 votes
1 answer
135 views

Was there any downside of the approach trajectory of the Huygen's probe?

I found this image on the Wikipedia page for the Huygens spacecraft: Source Titan orbits saturn at ~5.57 km/s. The probe seemed to reach ~6.5 km/s before hitting Titan. The probe's velocity vector ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
175 views

If Cassini's final flyby of Saturn's moon Titan is the 127th Titan flyby, why is it called "T-126"?

Cassini's final flyby of Titan in April 2017 sealed it's fate in September of that year. This is described further in answers to What force is bringing Cassini down into Saturn's atmosphere in another ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
8 votes
1 answer
590 views

How quickly might a Titan rover or drone get covered in oil and dirt? Will it need windshield-wipers?

These questions and their answers address some potential aspects of a rover on Saturn's moon Titan. Titan rover survival challenges What are the technical challenges in building a Titan rover that ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why are Titan's lakes "black" in radar images rather than transparent?

Searching after reading Titan rover questions (1, 2, 3) lead me to Space.com's Titan Has More Oil Than Earth which says in part: "Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material — it's a giant ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
2 answers
325 views

What are the technical challenges in building a Titan rover that didn't need heating?

In the discussion of this question it is assumed that we would need to heat the rover so that (most of) it's components were operating at temperatures much hotter than ambient (about 90K). Current ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
507 views

Could Liquid Methane on Titan be used as a Heat Source?

I was reading this question about how plausible a Titan rover is and the biggest problem with anything on Titan always seems to be the heating issues for spacecraft, especially the fact that batteries ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
156 views

Piggybacking to Enceladus

The latest NASA New Frontiers selection did not select any finalist proposals to Enceladus, which is one of the most promising targets for life in the solar system. It did however select Dragonfly, ...
TeslaK20's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
727 views

Delta-v obtained from Titan by the Cassini spacecraft; just how much of a "gas tank" was it?

In the video Cassini at Titan: A World Unveiled after about 01:56 Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory says: Not only was Titan ...
uhoh's user avatar
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