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NASA’s submarine could explore life on Saturn’s moon Titan

US space agency NASA has unveiled plans to send a submarine into the depths of Kraken Mare, the largest on Saturn’s moon Titan, which is the only body outside the Earth with liquid lakes and seas on its surface.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Washington Updated on: August 27, 2016 16:44 IST
NASA’s submarine could explore life on Saturn’s moon
Image Source : REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE NASA’s submarine could explore life on Saturn’s moon Titan

US space agency NASA has unveiled plans to send a submarine into the depths of Kraken Mare, the largest on Saturn’s moon Titan, which is the only body outside the Earth with liquid lakes and seas on its surface. 

NASA is working on sending a submarine into the depths of the Kraken Mare, Inverse.com reported on Saturday.

The Titanian seas, however, are not composed of water, like Earth's seas, but are seas of liquid hydrocarbons and one of the reasons why NASA wants to go to Titan is “to determine if hydrocarbon based life is possible on Titan,” NASA cryogenics enginee Jason Hartwig said in a presentation at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Symposium held this week in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Secondly, with clouds and an atmosphere, Titan is very similar to Earth apart from the extreme cold and oceans of liquid methane. 

But hidden in the methane sea may be clues to how life evolved and potentially some weird extraterrestrial microbes, the report said.

The proposed submarine would carry instruments to measure the chemical composition of the ocean, the currents and tides, and the structure of the ocean floor. 

NASA has a proposed launch date of 2038 because of how the Earth and Saturn are aligned with Titan's seasons.

Sprawling over some 1,000 km, with depths estimated at 300 m, Kraken Mare represents an opportunity for an unprecedented planetary exploration mission, NASA earlier said in a statement.

(With IANS inputs) 

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