NASA announced when it will send the first drone to Titan, Saturn's moon
Exploration rovers are slowly but relentlessly becoming a thing of the past.
Their place will be taken by advanced drones, which will search for traces of life on foreign planets and their unusual moons much faster, cheaper and safer.
The first ever extraterrestrial test of such a device will take place early next year on the surface of Mars, when a drone called Ingenuity and the Perseverance rover will begin to explore the Red Planet in search of signs of living organisms.
NASA wants to check in practice whether drones will be able to perform in extreme conditions.
If the mission is successful, a new era of space exploration will begin, and the agency has announced when we can expect a drone to be sent to the first moon, Titan.
The launch is to take place in 2027, and in 2034 the drone will land on the surface of the facility.
The mission will take place as part of the New Frontiers program, which aims to study alien worlds in the solar system. Titanium is one of the most interesting objects known to us.
The surface temperatures are very low, there are natural reservoirs of liquid hydrocarbons, and the atmosphere is dominated by nitrogen, which is similar to Earth.
Astrologers believe that there are ideal conditions for the emergence and flourishing of various forms of life.
Titanium in its present form resembles the Earth billions of years ago, the exploration drone will be equipped with a nuclear propulsion, or rather a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, eight rotors and a set of research instruments.
According to the plan, the mission will be carried out in an area known as Shangri-La.
It is located on the moon's equator and abounds in sand dunes.
They bring to mind views from African Namibia.
The Selk crater will also be thoroughly explored.
It is said to contain signs of once-found water, as well as complex carbon-based organic molecules, and the scientists plan the mission to take 2.5 years.
During its duration, the drone will travel about 175 kilometers of sandy areas and fly over methane and ethane tanks.
The device will also examine the condition of the atmosphere.
Scientists plan to take thousands of photos of the entire globe, and then use them to look for traces of life and interesting formations that can tell us the story of the evolution of this moon.