NASA will launch two rotorcraft toward other worlds in the next seven years.

This illustration shows NASA’s Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander approaching a site on Saturn’s moon, Titan. Taking advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere and low gravity, Dragonfly will explore dozens of locations across the icy world, sampling and measuring the compositions of Titan’s organic surface materials to characterize the habitability of Titan’s environment and investigate the progression of prebiotic chemistry.
(Image: © NASA/JHU-APL)

Drones have already conquered Earth, and now they’re heading out into the solar system.

NASA announced yesterday (June 27) that it will launch a life-hunting rotorcraft called Dragonfly toward Saturn’s huge moon Titan in 2026. If all goes according to plan, Dragonfly will land on the hazy, frigid satellite in 2034 and then spend several years flying around, gathering a variety of data and snapping amazing photos of the exotic landscape.

But Dragonfly won’t be the first drone to ply alien skies. A tiny helicopter scout will accompany NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, which is scheduled to launch toward the Red Planet next summer and land in February 2021.

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Credits: space


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