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In the wake of the landing robot (rover) Perseverance on the surface of Mars, and the expectation of the first flight of the Ingenuity drone, a third discovery also drew attention, this one a little further away from Red Planet

This time, the novelty comes from Kraken Mare, the largest ocean of methane on Titan, which is Saturn's largest moon. It is estimated that the depth is at least 300 meters, and may be even deeper. 

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For comparison, this is close to the maximum depth reached by a nuclear submarine here on Earth. These advances rekindle a dream of some researchers, which is to carry out a mission similar to those made to Mars, but with Titan as the destination. 

Recently, NASA announced that it has plans to launch a drone named Dragonfly to the moon of Saturn in 2026. In addition to an orbiter, a floating probe and a robotic submarine. However, the latter should not be released until the next summer of Titan, which will occur around 2047 in Earth years.

Animation illustrates the arrival of the Dragonfly drone on Titan's surface. Credit: Nasa / Disclosure - 2019

Earth resemblance

Titan is described by astronomers as "the world most like ours" in the Solar System. Like Earth, Saturn's moon has a dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere. Besides being one of the few places with climate, rain, rivers and seas. 

Along with Earth, Titan is the only place in the universe that is known to have liquids on its surface. However, unlike here, it does not rain water, but a compound more like gasoline, which descends like snow and is transformed into dunes by winds of nitrogen.

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The rivers open canyons with mountains of frozen soot and layers of ice float in the ammonia oceans. The average surface temperature is -178,8 ° C.

Saturn's largest moon was seen up close for the first time in 1980, when the legendary Voyager I passed by and sent us evidence that its nebulous atmosphere had a density four times greater than that of the Earth. 

Street: The New York Times 

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