NASA chooses Saturn’s moon Titan as its next destination

A new mission involving a drone-like lander will explore the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. The mission — called Dragonfly — received a coveted funding slot from NASA’s New Frontiers program, which funds ambitious missions to explore objects in our Solar System.

“Dragonfly is a Mars rover-sized drone that will be able to fly from place to place on Titan,” Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle, the lead investigator of the mission, said in a briefing. The 10-foot-long, and 10-foot-wide dual-quadcopter will look like a giant drone, with eight rotors helping it soar across the moon’s surface for about 8 or 9 miles (12-14 kilometers) in under an hour. It will make one of these “hops” about once every 16 days, scouting out future landing sites, spending a…

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