To Sail On Distant Seas

Artist's depiction of the surface of Titan

Here’s a pretty cool space exploration idea:  land a craft on one of the seas on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.  Because Titan is so cold, the seas aren’t filled with water, but with liquid hydrocarbons, including methane, ethane, and propane.  (Hank Hill no doubt would support the idea.)  NASA thinks Titan may have more hydrocarbons than Earth has oil and natural gas.

The Titan exploration proposal would be pretty cheap by modern standards, costing only a few hundred million dollars — about the price of a Senator’s vote for the health care bill.  And it has the advantage of being creative and evocative, drawing on the rich history of Earth exploration by sailing ships.

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