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11

Can Dragonfly make it to one of Titan's Lakes? tl;dr: Yes! It could be doable in 2-3 years. According to your linked document Dragonfly will use a Multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator or MMRTG: The MMRTG design incorporates PbTe/TAGS thermoelectric couples (from Teledyne Energy Systems), where the TAGS material is a material incorporating ...


7

Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem produced images like this: which has a resolution of about 200 m/pixel. This is a near-IR image. In visible light, color enhancement can bring out some detail: In UV, the atmosphere is opaque again: The ISS spans IR, visible and UV light: Each camera is outfitted with a large number of spectral filters which, ...


7

There are bacteria on Earth which get energy from hydrocarbons and oxygen. See for example this article. Many of them need oxygen which is not freely available on Titan. Some (thank's to @Calcutta for pointing this out) can use sulphate as an oxidising agent instead. However, as far as I can find out, essentially all the oxygen on Titan is in the form of ...


7

They plan to use some form of "site evaluation" to prevent tipping over: However, technology developments in the last two decades, notably the revolution in availability of multi- rotor drones a made possible by modern compact sensors and autopilots as well as the development of sensing and control capabilities for autonomous landing and site ...


7

From Cassini observations the methane-ethane mixture (with methane by far the largest component, maybe with some dissolved nitrogen) appears so pure that its absorptivity at the RADAR instrument's Ka-band frequency is quite low. That's how it could see so deep — not just 100 m, but 160-170 m. The paper The Bathymetry of a Titan Sea by Marco Mastrogiuseppe ...


7

The paper itself (I have access) says and shows that they are detecting the bottom of some lakes with their radar with a maximum depth of 105+/-6 meters. The radar reflection off the bottom is much fainter than off the surface, but still distinct and clear. The attenuation (17 dB/us) fits a mostly-methane composition (best fit 69% methane, the rest mostly ...


6

Wikipedia says of the composition of the lower atmosphere: Because methane condenses out of Titan's atmosphere at high altitudes, its abundance increases as one descends below the tropopause at an altitude of 32 km, leveling off at a value of 4.9% [the rest is mostly nitrogen] between 8 km and the surface. and in a separate article The average ...


6

Given that they are finding water in all sorts of places, my bet is on Enceladus and Mars. But here's a few interesting quotes I gathered from NASA... From Water: Life's Elixir in the Solar System: Liquid water is a necessity for every form of life known, with the possible exception of some plants or fungi that may get by on water vapor. With this ...


5

The International Astronomical Union is the most official source on this matter. Among other surface features on Titan the IAU recognizes 81 lakes (lacūs, "small dark plains with discrete, sharp boundaries") of 5km to 240km diameter (median 36km), and three larger seas (maria, "large expanses of dark materials thought to be hydrocarbons"): Kraken Mare, ...


4

To my knowledge no mission has attempted to generate electricity from Titan/Saturn's magnetic fields (or Jupiter's for that matter), a list of missions to-date includes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_11 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassini%E2%80%93Huygens Planned ...


4

******************************************************************************* Revised: Jan 12, 2005 Cassini Huygens Probe -150 http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/ http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/instruments-huygens.cfm The 318-kilogram (701-pound) Huygens probe separated from the ...


4

The RTG will be part of the helicopter. The helicopter will weigh 420 kg (early estimate). Dragonfly will be a helicopter-only mission, there's no ground station. This is the landing configuration, you can see the helicopter is the only object inside the aeroshell, i.e. the only object that will land.


3

Depending on your environmental suit, it would probably be much like the Apollo astronauts' mode of choice on the moon. I say "depending on your environmental suit" because the environment at Titan is very different from that on the moon. True, the gravitational acceleration is roughly the same, but a Titan environmental suit wouldn't have to protect ...


2

The key to navigation when in Saturn's moon system is Titan. Cassini flew by a vast numbers of targets while barely spending any fuel. This was accomplished by a gravity assist scheme where the key component is successive flybys of Titan for every orbit. Titan is relatively massive, so it can alter your probe's trajectory dramatically. Exactly how it's ...


2

Titan also has more of the right stuff to work with, in order to make an atmosphere. Remember our own, massive (by comparison) Earth did not come with an atmosphere; it outgassed as it cooled. Our Moon, if formed by a collision, had its volatile matter escape between the time of the collision and its re-formation into a massive body, whereas Titan retained ...


2

Cassini's Visual and Infrared Imaging System produced these global views of surface chemical compositions (determind via spectrometry), with infrared light. The colors are not colors that would becseen by the eye but markers for different chemical composition. Orange represents hydrocarbon dunes, blue and purple colirs suggest more water ice. Image via ...


2

As an alternative, there is the possibility of an oxygen-free metabolism. Let us look at some standard enthalpies of formation from the various Wikipedia articles for a few simple species $\text{H}_2 = 0$ kJ/mol (definition for elements in their standard state) $\text{CH}_4 = -74.87$ kJ/mol (Wikipedia) $\text{C}_2\text{H}_6 = -84$ kJ/mol (Wikipedia) $\...


1

It would have to be vastly different to earth physiology but there are exothermic chemical reactions possible with compounds found on Titan. This may well not be the only hurdle though. For example without having a solvent for the redux reaction and a functional group for what ever the analog of enzymes would b in this system: using this energy would be ...


1

You could, but you would probably have to import oxygen or hydrogen peroxide from the Saturn moon Rhea.


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