Boat trip planned for Titan’s methane oceans

A potential NASA project would launch a buoy-like “boat” on giant lakes of ethane and methane located on the surface of Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. Despite the moon’s surface temperature of around minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit, scientists are hopeful the probe may discover organic compounds that are the precursors of life. Titan features complex weather systems and other features that mimic some of the conditions found on primordial earth, according to the story on

“Titan is often referred to as a pre-biotic world. It actually has all the sort of building block chemicals that were present on Earth when life evolved. The idea for Titan is that with those very, very cold temperatures and with water being frozen solid, could life actually develop, or is it just too cold so those chemical reactions just can’t get going?” project lead scientist Ellen Stofan, with Proxemy Research in Gaithersburg, Md., told Discovery News.

The boat, named Titan Mare Explorer, would feature a camera that could beam back pictures of weather and sea conditions, and other discoveries.

By Ocean Navigator