By Alex Stuckey
NASA researchers are developing a submarine that could traverse the liquid methane lakes and seas of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in preparation for a mission still decades away.
The space agency teamed up with Washington State University researchers to determine how a submarine would work on Titan by recreating one of its seas in the laboratory. Such a vessel would need to be able to withstand -300 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as seas, lakes and rivers of liquid methane, according to a WSU news release.
Scientists have been fascinated with Titan for many years because, similar to Earth, Saturn’s largest moon has a nitrogen-dominated atmosphere. It also holds liquid, has clouds and experiences rain. But unlike Earth, Titan’s bodies of liquid contain methane, not water.