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Titan

Facts For Prelims

 Source: The Hindu

 

Context: NASA’s Dragonfly mission to explore Titan is scheduled for launch in 2027, and the spacecraft is expected to arrive at its destination in around 2034.

 

About Titan:

  • Titan is the second largest moon (Saturn’s) in our solar system (after Jupiter’s Ganymede).
  • It is larger than Mercury and has lakes, rivers, clouds, and rain of methane on the surface.
  • Titan’s building blocks are expected to be similar to those on the earth before life took root. While both the earth’s and Titan’s atmospheres contain abundant nitrogen, Titan lacks oxygen.
  • The presence of methane and nitrogen in Titan’s atmosphere could allow their component atoms – carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen – to potentially exist and recombine to form a rich variety of organic compounds.

 

The Dragonfly mission is part of NASA’s ‘New Frontiers’ programme, which also includes the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt; Juno to Jupiter; and OSIRIS-REx to the asteroid Bennu.