When the hypersonic/supersonic deceleration phase is finished, there's still a long way to go to the surface, and that takes time. "By utilizing these elements together with heat and light from large-scale nuclear fusion reactors, adding seeds and some breeding pairs of livestock from Earth. She has worked extensively on the Cassini spacecraft. "So far we've seen no evidence for anything other than water and organics on Titan's surface. So don't ever start up a space fission reactor until it's well out in space and not coming back." Taking nearly a decade, the billion-mile voyage includes a ‘slingshot’ transit of Venus, a catastrophic solar storm, and a constant struggle to keep the ship and crew functioning. Living on Titan. Simulated vacations in domes only! Several areas near the equator have been identified as possible dry sea beds. A proposed airplane mission concept to Titan, a moon of Saturn. There are rugged mountain ranges, lakes and seas, river channels, etc. As Sonny Mitchell, the project of the NTP project at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, said in a recent NASA press statement: "As we push out into the solar system, nuclear propulsion may offer the only truly viable technology option to extend human reach to the surface of Mars and to worlds beyond. ), as Cassini and Huygens verified. Because that disk of dust was a disk, all in a plane, all of the planets formed in a plane as well. the interior was benign, room temperature freezing point, something like that, and outside was 94°K. Because ice is less dense than water, Titan's watery magma would be denser than its solid icy crust. Out of the 10 largest bodies with a surface in our Solar System, it's the easiest one where to land thanks to its low gravity and thick atmosphere. ), Ganymede : 5268 km (it's a moon of Jupiter and the largest moon in the Solar System, Titan is second), Mars : 6779 km (so, not much smaller than Mars!! says Tom Spilker. So Saturn won't be seen from all over Titan, and from the places where it can be seen, it will always appear in the same place in the sky. So a year on Titan lasts 30 Earth years, Average temperature at the surface : −179.5 °C (yes it's cold, but it's not a show-stopper, see further below), Atmospheric composition (troposphere ) : 95% N2 (Nitrogen), 4.9% CH4 (Methane) and traces of H2 (Di-Hydrogen), On Earth : 78% nitrogen (N2), 20.95% oxygen (O2), 0.930% argon, 0.0402% carbon dioxide (CO2), and ~ 1% water vapor (climate-variable), “If you press forward in time, and if the methane doesn't kept replenished, all of it will be transformed by photolysis and Titan will have a blue sky and a nitrogen atmosphere with sand dunes of hydrocarbons,” said Jeffrey Moore from NASA’s Ames Research Center. The low-pressure ice, overlaying a liquid layer of ammonium sulfate, ascends buoyantly, and the unstable system can produce dramatic plume events. The atmosphere is sufficiently thick and cold that all of the outer surfaces of Huygens were quenched at about 94°K, or maybe 96°K, relatively quickly. This means that cryovolcanism on Titan would require a large amount of additional energy to operate, possibly via tidal flexing from nearby Saturn. Could a Space Helicopter Find Life on Saturn's Moon Titan? What if We Kept the Articles of Confederation? There would be plenty to explore on Titan if humans ever make it there. What about using aerogel to insulate ourselves on Titan ? Setting the Record Straight About the Biosphere 2 (Motherboard, 2017), TED talk by Jane Poynter: Life in Biosphere 2 (15 min), "Ralph Lorenz and Jacqueline Mitton take readers behind the scenes of the Cassini-Huygens mission. Lorenz and Mitton describe Titan as a world strikingly like Earth and tell how Titan may hold clues to the origins of life on our own planet and possibly to its presence on others. “Measurements of all these aspects of Titan’s hydrocarbon ocean environment can only be made through focused exploration with a well-instrumented craft.”, "Communicating with Earth would not be possible when the vehicle is submerged, so it would need to make regular trips to the surface to transmit science data. "In the almost Earth-normal atmospheric pressure of Titan, you would not need a pressure suit, just a dry suit to keep out the cold. Titan's low gravity leads to a very large atmospheric scale height, the vertical distance over which the pressure changes by a factor of e. Couple that to the high surface pressure and you get an atmosphere that produces measurable aerodynamic drag nearly 1000 km above the surface (! The reactor cores sit on top of “dish-like” high-density gamma shields and are surrounded by thermal radiating surfaces to dissipate the excess heat. MSRs where first developed in the U.S. in the 1950s for use in a nuclear-powered aircraft bomber (the idea being that the bomber could remain in the air indefinitely). As for the atmospheric pressure, that is, the weight of a column of air on a surface, while Titan's air is denser, gravity is also weaker, 14% of that on Earth, so overall atmospheric pressure at ground level is "only" 1.45 times that of Earth at sea level. It's a very interesting BBC documentary centered on the Cassini-Huygens mission and in particular on the British team that worked on the surface instruments of the lander Huygens. BWXT will also aid NASA planners in addressing the issues of feasibility and affordably with their NTP program. Titan surface is protected from harmful solar radiation and galactic cosmic rays thanks to its thick atmosphere (unlike Mars, meaning we can live on the surface, not buried underground, and can go out and walk on the surface much more often and for much longer than on Mars, which should help at the psychological level) The name Titan, and the names of all 7 satellites of Saturn then known (62 known moons now), came from John Herschel in 1847. This question was originally answered on Quora by Robert Frost. Of course we could not survive without protection, but this applies to some places on the Earth where people live. The more tilted a celestial body is, the more variations there will be in the amount of sunlight received at its surface between different areas : at certain times some areas will receive more light than others (what we call summer! At these low temperatures, radiation basically doesn't transfer any heat at all. 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