NASA has given the go-ahead for Dragonfly, a flying rotorcraft that will explore Saturn’s mysterious moon Titan. Mission Principal Investigator Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle helps us celebrate. Troy Hudson tells us about the ongoing effort to rescue the Mole on Mars lander InSight. And Bruce Betts provides the latest on LightSail 2’s attempt to sail on the light of the sun.
Johns Hopkins APL
Artist's impression of Dragonfly in flight over Titan
Dragonfly is a dual-quadcopter lander that would take advantage of the environment on Titan to fly to multiple locations, hundreds of kilometers apart, to sample materials and determine surface composition to investigate Titan's organic chemistry and habitability, monitor atmospheric and surface conditions, image landforms to investigate geological processes, and perform seismic studies. It was selected as one of two possible missions for the next New Frontiers launch opportunity in 2017.
The Planetary Society / Processed by Seán Doran
Earth from LightSail 2
This image of Earth, looking toward the Caribbean Sea oriented with north at the top, was captured by LightSail 2 on 7 July 2019 at 23:32 UTC. Lens flares are visible in the bottom left and upper right. To the left of Earth, a piece of spectraline that was used to hold the spacecraft's solar panels closed is visible.