Titan definitely seems to attract NASA even more than Mars today. The study of Saturn keeps coming up in press releases from the American space agency, and it's the turn of a new robotic exploration module to make itself known.
The moon of Saturn most similar to Earth has an atmosphere one and a half times denser than that of our planet. Its composition tells us that there is little chance of finding a form of life there, especially since the temperature on Titan barely exceeds -179 ° C.
However, NASA would like to explore Titan's methane and liquid ethane lakes, including the Kraken Sea, a liquid expanse of 400,000 square kilometers, the depth of which could reach 160 meters. NASA is therefore looking into the obstacles to an on-site study, such as currents, tides and how it could pilot a submarine remotely while the time between each order shipment will be 160 minutes.
NASA engineers estimate that the submarine will weigh a ton and that it will be powered by electric turbines based on the stirling engine. Again, the challenge will be daunting since Titan is particularly far from the sun, and the submarine will be out of direct reach of the sun's rays during all of its exploration beneath the surface.
NASA could also test a new means of transmission. Rather than putting into orbit a satellite serving as a communication relay with the Earth, the submarine would itself have a large antenna camouflaged in a fin capable of directly connecting with the ground control of the mission.
The US space agency has indicated that the project could be launched by 2040