Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sailing the Seas of Titan

There are shades of Hal Clement's Science Fiction (SciFi) novel "Mission of Gravity", where aliens are employed by Earth's scientists to investigate a fast spinning super Jupiter type planet in sailing ships. However, this article about a nautical craft for Saturn's moon Titan, is a real proposed scientific project, although no aliens are involved as crew members!
The first interplanetary nautical craft may be a boat to explore the methane seas of Titan. A proposed mission to Titan would explore some of its largest seas, including Ligeia Mare (pictured) or the Kraken Mare, both of which are in the northern hemisphere of the foggy moon of Saturn. The concept has been studied for over two years by scientific team led by Ellen Stofan of Proxemy Research, Inc. in Washington DC, and has recently been submitted to NASA.

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