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NASA Girds for July 2028 Launch of Dragonfly Rotorcraft Mission to Titan

Rotorcraft space journey

NASA Girds for July 2028 Launch of Dragonfly Rotorcraft Mission to Titan

NASA has announced that its Dragonfly rotorcraft mission to Saturn’s moon Titan will be launched in July 2028, with President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2025 budget request allocating $3.35 billion for the total lifecycle cost of the project. 

The agency’s confirmation of the mission launch will enable the completion of the rotorcraft’s final design, which passed its preliminary design review in March 2023. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, is directing Dragonfly design and construction, with Lockheed Martin Space among the contractors, NASA said Tuesday.

Nicky Fox, NASA associate science administrator, expressed excitement about the advance of the Titan mission, noting that it will “push the boundaries” of rotorcraft capability beyond Earth. 

Dragonfly, designed with eight rotors to fly like a drone, stands out as the first scientific vehicle that NASA will send to another planetary body. Its targeted arrival on Titan is in 2034, starting dozens of flights to probe prebiotic chemical processes common to the moon and early Earth before its life development. 

The rotorcraft will use a spectrometer to examine the chemistry of Titan’s surface. NASA is also looking into the possibility of using thermal-drilling robots to explore Saturn and Jupiter’s icy moons. 

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Category: Space

Tags: Dragonfly NASA Nicky Fox rotorcraft mission space Titan