NASA’s Crazy Plan to Send a Space Submarine to Titan

Titan is the largest moon orbiting Saturn, and it’s noticeably similar to Earth. Despite being 800 million miles away, Titan has the most earth-like surface, which includes lakes and seas. These features intrigue the scientists at NASA, who want to send an intergalactic submarine to check it out.

Titan is the only moon with a thick atmosphere filled with clouds of nitrogen and methane, which gives the moon its signature orange glow. NASA sent Cassini to probe the planet and investigate what goes on beneath the clouds. Cassini discovered the lakes and oceans, which are filled with hydrocarbons instead of water. These hydrocarbons, such as methane and ethane, are able to exist on Titan because of the extremely cold temperatures.

To explore these freezing seas, NASA’s designing an autonomous submarine with a small engine and retractable sail. Their mission is to explore the lake Kraken Mare to gather data about the lake’s chemistry and depths. NASA hopes to learn how the lakes and seas affect the moon’s weather patterns. The mission isn’t set to launch until 2040 at the earliest, but the prospect of an intergalactic submarine is filled with exciting possibilities.