One of NASA’s upcoming projects is to explore the dark depths of Saturn’s prominent moon Titan, the only celestial body with a significant atmosphere having its own methane cycle just like our Earth’s water and nitrogen cycles. This allows Titan to have large, enormous oceans and lakes of methane. Clearly not suitable for us but that does not justify us humans to not know about it. That is why NASA will be sending a specially equipped high-tech submarine-probe to figure out the hidden details of Titan’s water bodies.
This new project, a high-end submarine called titan-sub in short is claimed to come equipped with a camera setup, sample-acquisition equipment, sonar technology, meteorology sensors, sun sensors, depth sounder, long range communication antennae and a specially designed ballast system. Powered by radio-isotope generator, it will be able to convert radioactive substances’ (pellets) heat into usable electricity.
The mission concept proposed by NASA will research on many aspects of Titan’s oceanographic phenomena including chemical composition of the liquid, surface and subsurface currents, mixing and layering in the ‘water’ column, tides, wind and waves, its bathymetry, and bottom features and composition.
According to a 3D animated video made by the space agency shows how the fully autonomous titan-sub will work in the ‘unpredictable’ waters of Titan’s largest methane ocean- The Kraken Mare. The titan-sub will automatically undertake several scientific investigations in the depths of Kraken Mare, which is spread across 1000 km and is almost 300 m deep.
There is no concrete evidence or news about how this submarine will look like but when it’s made and ready for exploration it may potentially provide some idea about Earth’s birth and history of its formation. The date of its official launch or completion of this mission’s project are not provided yet but we can confidently assume it to be one of NASA’s greatest explorations yet to be made.