The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) has published a new nuclear robotic submersible, which they could use to explore the vast oceans on Saturn’s frozen moon – Titan.
Describing the submarine in a recently released PDF document, the renowned space agency stated it was proposed as a method to investigate Kraken Mare, a body of liquid on Titan spotted by the Cassini spacecraft in 2007. Kraken Mare is deemed to be the largest sea or lake in the northern portion of Titan.
Powered by a radioisotope Stirling generator power source, the submarine would be efficient enough to complete a 90-day, 2000-kilometer journey.
The document states, “Even with its planetary application aside, this action has pushed us to watch at submarine vehicle design drivers in a whole new approach.” the submarine has been designed under the auspices of the agency’s Institute for Advanced Concepts.
Cassini probe detected small waves under the frozen surface of Titan. The waves were believed to be up to 160 meters deep.
But, NASA scientists are concerned that it would be hard for the submarine to send signals from under the liquid on Titan back to earth, as the direct transmission of data over a billion miles would require a large, powerful antenna. They believe that a dorsal fin concealing an antenna could be an answer to the issue.
The nuclear submarine will be unveiled at the 46th Lunar & Planetary Science Conference in March this year.