NASA's new Poseidon mission is launching a swarm of hydro drones to investigate the lakes on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Information from these lakes could give insight into whether or not life could sustain itself in this atmosphere.
Poseidon will use two spacecraft, an orbiter and a lander, to complete this mission. The orbiter observes and reports information to help the team to execute an ideal landing. Hydrodrones will land in a lake made of liquid ethane and methane to collect samples. The drones will then head back to an analysis base to recharge and drop off samples.
"The science questions we have for Titan are very broad because we don't know much about what is going on at the surface yet," says Alex Hayes, who works with NASA and Cornell University.
Space exploration with drones allows scientists to rapidly gather information about celestial bodies to learn history, search for signs of life, and discover the potential for future inhabitation.