NASA confirms nuclear-powered Dragonfly mission with a Saturn moon destination

NASA has confirmed via its blog that it will send a nuclear-powered Dragonfly to Saturn's organic-rich moon Titan to explore its resources.

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NASA has confirmed in a new blog post that it will be sending a nuclear-powered Dragonfly, a newly designed rotorcraft, to Saturn's moon Titan.

Artist's concept of Dragonfly

Artist's concept of Dragonfly

The space agency took to its blog and explained it's made the decision to point the Dragonfly rotorcraft mission at Saturn's organic-rich moon Titan, enabling engineers to enter the final stages of the rotorcraft's development and testing. NASA explains the Dragonfly mission was confirmed with a total lifecycle cost of $3.35 billion and a launch date of July 2028, which is a cost that is two times what was originally proposed, and a delay of more than two years from the initial launch year of 2019.

Due to funding constraints, NASA had to re-juggle the Dragonfly mission, and to compensate for the delay, NASA has added a more powerful rocket that will reduce the time it takes to arrive at its destination. Engineers have equipped the rotorcraft with eight rotors and various scientific instruments. When flown, it looks like a large drone. It's expected that Dragonfly will arrive at Titan in 2034, and once it does, it will mark the first time that "NASA will fly a vehicle for science on another planetary body," writes the space agency.

"The rotorcraft, targeted to arrive at Titan in 2034, will fly to dozens of promising locations on the moon, looking for prebiotic chemical processes common on both Titan and the early Earth before life developed. Dragonfly marks the first time NASA will fly a vehicle for science on another planetary body. The rotorcraft has eight rotors and flies like a large drone," writes NASA

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NEWS SOURCES:science.nasa.gov, space.com

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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