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Dragonfly to Titan

Thursday,  04/18/24  12:51 PM

News item: NASA confirms nuclear-powered Dragonfly drone is going to Titan.  Aw, be still my beating heart.

Of course this is only a press release, and it's easier to ship those than to fly space missions, so we'll see.  This was originally scheduled for 2026, but now looks to be 2028.  When you're slipping years you know the project isn't fully under way.  The price tag is supposedly $3.35B, a mere pittance, but still.

The article notes "NASA did not specify which heavy-lift launcher would be used", although this should be possible with SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, so at least they don't need to wait for a new rocket.  And of course they have been to Titan before - remember Cassini / Huygens, my favorite spacecraft of all time?

As you all know, I can't wait to go to Titan myself, but perhaps Dragonfly will send us enough telemetry that we can construct a VR tour instead - that would be a decent alternative...