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Questions tagged [titan]

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

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7 votes
2 answers
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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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10 votes
2 answers
794 views

Titan rover survival challenges

The Huygens probe didn't last long. What are the challenges of operating a rover on the surface of Titan for at least a few months and what technologies would be used to overcome these?
Mutual's user avatar
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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
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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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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why Never-EVER Land?

In this answer @Hobbes points out that data from the Huygens lander is still generating a high flux of new publications in 2018. One of them in the search results linked there is: Never-EVER Land - A ...
uhoh's user avatar
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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
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23 votes
3 answers
20k views

Maximum survivable atmospheric pressure

Given a similar mix of gases to those in our Earth's atmosphere, what is the upper limit of survivable atmospheric pressure for a human? Could a human survive higher pressures with a gas mix unlike ...
Ezra Bailey's user avatar
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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
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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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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What would a "water" landing on Titan be like? How viscous is the liquid?

The abstract to the recent paper Never-EVER Land - A Titan Flyer Concept is shown below. I've asked about the need for the aircraft to remain in flight continuously and land only at the end of it's ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
328 views

Any proposed missions to explore the black liquid on Titan? Technical challenges?

I was very interested to know what the black lake on Titan would look like. Are there any plans or proposals for a future mission to land on and/or in one of the lakes of black liquid on Titan, or ...
Gstestso's user avatar
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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
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19 votes
3 answers
7k views

How much sunlight gets to the surface of Titan? What would astronauts see?

Saturn being at 10 A.U. means sunlight on Titan's cloud tops is about 1/100 that on Earth's. That's 4000 times the illumination of Earth's moon. Titan's atmosphere is described as opaque smog. If ...
Bob Stein's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
334 views

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
  • 149k
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Titan trajectories options

As a little project in a course of spacecraft design, I have to plan a mission to Saturn's moon Titan. The recommended trajectory is Hohmann transfer since it's easy to calculate the delta-V and ...
Tonio's user avatar
  • 309
1 vote
1 answer
308 views

Did the Huygens lander have a flood-light for photography? Was it used?

According to this cool answer the Huygens lander on Saturn's moon Titan had a flood light to aid in photography of the surface because of the very low ambient light levels due to the 9.5x farther ...
uhoh's user avatar
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37 votes
2 answers
5k views

How do I dress for a hike on a hot summer day on Titan?

Titan has an atmosphere with a surface pressure of around 150 kPa. It has an average surface temperature of around 94 K, around -183°C. On a nice, sunny, calm, summer day near the equator, it may ...
gerrit's user avatar
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37 votes
2 answers
6k views

Can a spaceship land on an icy body using retropropulsion? wouldn't the ice melt?

Can a spaceship, say Musk's BFR, actually land on the ice surface of Titan, or Europa, or Enceladus? It seems to me that the hot exhaust gases would make the surface melt where the rocket is trying to ...
thomasjestin's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
584 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
  • 223
9 votes
1 answer
384 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
8 votes
2 answers
574 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
7 votes
2 answers
414 views

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
  • 149k
5 votes
1 answer
203 views

Is data from Huygens still being analyzed in 2018?

The Huygens probe landed on Saturn's moon Titan about 13 years ago and provided unique "first-hand" data about Titan. I was unable to find how many papers have been published based on this data, but ...
Don_S's user avatar
  • 379
5 votes
1 answer
141 views

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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5 votes
1 answer
477 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
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
4 votes
0 answers
120 views

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
  • 149k
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
  • 149k
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
3 votes
1 answer
264 views

Where to get Cassini VIMS data and optical transmission spectra of Titan's atmosphere?

In the extensive 2010 paper HYDROCARBON DEPOSITS ON TITAN by Clark et al. there are two plots that show Titan's atmospheric transmission windows. These plots (Figures 1 and 5) can be used to indicate ...
Don_S's user avatar
  • 379
3 votes
2 answers
505 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
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
3 votes
1 answer
297 views

Is Cassini equipped for detection of non-water-based exobiology?

Looking at one of the latest images of Titan's north pole as taken by Cassini probe made me curious how well equipped this NASA's probe actually is to detect non-water-based exobiology?   &...
TildalWave's user avatar
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