NASA list two places where ‘life could potentially thrive’ in our solar system
NASA scientists have revealed two places in the outer solar system where life "could potentially thrive".
Previously, scientists across the world have listed planets beyond our solar system and in other galaxies but these two places are different.
NASA said Jupiter's moon, Europa, and Saturn's moon, Titan, "could support life" as they are similar to early Earth.
Previously, the space agency announced that to advance their building blocks of life, they plan to fly to sample and examine sites around Titan – the icy moon in Saturn's orbit.
The Dragonfly mission, set to launch in 2026, will arrive in 2034.
The rotorcraft, which is similar to a large drone, will travel to dozens of locations and look for prebiotic chemical process common on both the faraway moon and Earth.
It'll also mark the first time NASA will fly a multi-rotor vehicle for science on another planet, and become the first vehicle ever to fly its entire science payload to new places.
They say Titan can provide clues to how life may have begun on Earth as Titan is an "analogue to the very early Earth" stages.
Dragonfly will explore diverse environments from organic dunes to the floor of an impact crater, where liquid water and organic materials key to life once existed.
They will also investigate the moon's surface and atmospheric properties, subsurface ocean and liquid reservoirs.
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Chemical evidence of past extant life will also be on the list of duties.
In 2019, NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said: “With the Dragonfly mission, NASA will once again do what no one else can do.
"Visiting this mysterious ocean world could revolutionize what we know about life in the universe. This cutting-edge mission would have been unthinkable even just a few years ago, but we’re now ready for Dragonfly’s amazing flight.”
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Titan has a nitrogen-based atmosphere like Earth, but also has clouds and rin of methane – which our planet doesn't have.
Organics are formed within the atmosphere and fall like snow, and the moon's weather and surface processes have combined complex organics, water and energy similar to those that may have sparked life on Earth.
It's the second-largest moon in our solar system, around 886 million miles away from the Sun, and 10 times farther than Earth.
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