Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Titan

  • Titan sample return mission being explored by NASA engineers

    Laurel KornfeldMay 30th, 2021

    Funded by a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program grant, scientists are exploring a possible mission to return samples from Saturn's moon Titan.

  • Mars and Titan: Two very different potentially habitable worlds

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 23rd, 2021

    Mars and Saturn’s moon Titan are at the forefront of the search for habitable solar system worlds, but they are very different from one another in terms of the presence of liquid, temperature variations, and the presence of organic compounds, planetary scientist Vincent Chevrier of the University of Arkansas noted in a March 12 online […]

  • Pluto’s hazy atmosphere is similar to that of Titan

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 2nd, 2020

    Pluto is often compared to Neptune's largest moon Triton, but its hazy atmosphere is actually more akin to that of Saturn's largest moon Titan, which is sometimes viewed as an analog of early Earth.

  • Forget Mars, NASA considering sending a helicopter to one of Saturn’s moons

    Laurel KornfeldJune 29th, 2019

    NASA announced plans to send a flying rotorcraft to Saturn's moon Titan to study its surface and atmosphere for signs of past and possibly present forms of microbial life.

  • New details emerge about Titan’s methane lakes

    Laurel KornfeldApril 17th, 2019

    Methane lakes on Titan run deep and play a crucial role in its hydrologic cycle, according to new studies published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

  • Cassini data reveals another feature that suggests Titan is similar to Earth

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 25th, 2018

    Is Titan similar to Earth? New data from the Cassini orbiter suggests it is.

  • Scientists reveal Cassini’s final view of Titan’s northern hemisphere

    Joe LatrellSeptember 21st, 2018

    One year ago, the Cassini spacecraft, which logged over 13 years of observations at Saturn, plunged to its end in the crushing depth's of Saturn's atmosphere. Today, scientists are still studying the data the spacecraft send back to Earth.

  • Research teams receive NASA grants to study life in the cosmos

    Laurel KornfeldMay 18th, 2018

    Three interdisciplinary research teams have each been awarded $8 million in NASA grant funding to conduct five-year studies on various aspects of life in the universe.

  • Saturn’s moon Titan has ‘sea level’ like Earth

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 20th, 2018

    Researchers using data from NASA's Cassini mission have discovered a striking similarity between Earth and Saturn's moon Titan. Just as the surface of Earth's oceans lies at an average elevation referred to as "sea level", Titan's seas also lie at an average elevation. Titan is the only world in our solar system other than Earth known to have stable liquid on its surface. Instead of water, Titan's lakes and seas are filled with hydrocarbons, mostly  methane and ethane. Water ice, covered by a layer of solid organic material, forms the bedrock surrounding these lakes and seas.

  • Titan’s haze captured in Cassini photo

    Jason RhianJanuary 17th, 2018

    Downtown L.A. has got nothing on Saturn's moon Titan, at least in terms of smoggy haze that is. Imagery captured by the Cassini spacecraft prior to its plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017 shows a world blanketed in a dense mist.

  • Titan flyby launches Cassini into Grande Finale

    Laurel KornfeldApril 25th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini orbiter conducted its last and closest flyby of Saturn's large moon Titan in the early morning hours of April 22, 2017, putting it on course for the mission's Grand Finale of 22 orbits between the innermost rings and the giant planet.

  • Cassini to conduct last, closest flyby of Titan

    Laurel KornfeldApril 21st, 2017

    As NASA's Cassini spacecraft moves toward its Grand Finale, it will conduct its final and closest flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on April 22, 2017. This last visit is a targeted flyby, meaning Cassini will use either its rocket engine or thrusters to alter its course.

  • Nitrogen in Titan’s lakes may cause them to fizz

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 18th, 2017

    The hydrocarbon lakes of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, may contain nitrogen that, at times, causes them to bubble and fizz, according to a NASA study that simulated conditions on Titan's surface.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 12 years ago, Huygens touched down on Titan

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 14th, 2017

    Twelve years ago, on January 14, 2005, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Huygens probe touched down on the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, where it collected images and data about a world viewed by many scientists as an analog of early Earth.

  • Cassini begins dive into Saturn’s rings

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 6th, 2016

    NASA's Cassini orbiter made its first dive into Saturn's ring system on Sunday, Dec. 4. It's the beginning of an endgame in which the spacecraft will fly across the ring plane and ultimately impact the giant planet on Sept. 15, 2017.