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bison

Titan Has Deep Lakes

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bison

Before the Cassini probe was sent plunging into Saturn in 2017, it provided some very interesting information about the moon Titan.  It appears that this large moon of Saturn not only has lakes, some so large that they've sometimes been called seas, but that some of these lakes are up to 300 feet deep. 

Titan is the only solar system object, other than Earth, known to have liquid flowing at its surface. Of course at the temperatures on Titan this is not water, but liquid methane. Water there has the properties of rock, and is evidently eroded by rivers of liquid methane.

Further details about Titan's cycle of evaporation, transport and precipitation of liquid methane, its geology, and its lakes, are included in the excellent article, linked below:

https://www.universetoday.com/142009/methane-filled-lakes-on-titan-are surprisingly-deep/

   

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Jon the frog
Posted (edited)

Look like a refueling station for spaceship... but quitting Jupiter proximity is probably a waste of fuel.

 

Edited by Jon the frog

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Waspie_Dwarf
1 hour ago, Jon the frog said:

Look like a refueling station for spaceship... but quitting Jupiter proximity is probably a waste of fuel.

 

Titan would be a difficult place to refuel. It's thick atmosphere would require any vehicle landing there to use a heat shield.

It has been proposed that in the future it may be possible for orbiting stations to scoop hydrogen from the upper reaches of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. Such a space station may very well be a better place to refuel than Titan, if you are in the vicinity of Saturn.

Alternatively many of the moons of the outer planets have surfaces which contain large amounts of water ice, This can also be a source of hydrogen and oxygen. Landing on these moons, which have little or no atmosphere, will be easier than landing on Titan.

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Jon the frog
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Titan would be a difficult place to refuel. It's thick atmosphere would require any vehicle landing there to use a heat shield.

It has been proposed that in the future it may be possible for orbiting stations to scoop hydrogen from the upper reaches of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. Such a space station may very well be a better place to refuel than Titan, if you are in the vicinity of Saturn.

Alternatively many of the moons of the outer planets have surfaces which contain large amounts of water ice, This can also be a source of hydrogen and oxygen. Landing on these moons, which have little or no atmosphere, will be easier than landing on Titan.

Yeah, Titan is probably to difficult to fuel upon, but a base on it would be interesting. Ice is clearly good source of fuel if you have the energy to break it up. Ice is interesting but farther and farther of the Sun, using solar panel to break water in hydrogen and oxygen is far less efficient. The energy source to do that will reside on nuclear power and it's probably the only way to go far in space.

Edited by Jon the frog

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Waspie_Dwarf
5 hours ago, Jon the frog said:

farther and farther of the Sun, using solar panel to break water in hydrogen and oxygen is far less efficient. The energy source to do that will reside on nuclear power and it's probably the only way to go far in space.

Nuclear will probably be the way forward but solar is becoming more efficient all the time. Until recently any mission venturing to the outer solar system relied on nuclear power. Now two missions,  ESA's Rosetta, and NASA,s Juno, have venture at least as far as Jupiter and used solar power. I doubt that it will be long before solar is available out as far as Saturn.

However, the problem with solar power at Titan is that it is permanently covered by thick clouds.

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Jon the frog
14 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Nuclear will probably be the way forward but solar is becoming more efficient all the time. Until recently any mission venturing to the outer solar system relied on nuclear power. Now two missions,  ESA's Rosetta, and NASA,s Juno, have venture at least as far as Jupiter and used solar power. I doubt that it will be long before solar is available out as far as Saturn.

However, the problem with solar power at Titan is that it is permanently covered by thick clouds.

They have been some regulation about nuclear spacelaunch some years ago like this one: https://fas.org/nuke/space/osnp-1.pdf.

Right now they can use small reactor only so they place their eggs in other power sources most of the time. 

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Waspie_Dwarf
11 hours ago, Jon the frog said:

They have been some regulation about nuclear spacelaunch some years ago like this one: https://fas.org/nuke/space/osnp-1.pdf.

Right now they can use small reactor only so they place their eggs in other power sources most of the time. 

I don't think that document is what you think it is.

Reading it, it is not a regulation document.

The first section (part A) is fairly recognisable to anyone who uses scientific (and possibly engineering) S.O.P.s and is a general safety guideline in to the safe use of space based nuclear reactors. It does make reference to relent regulations, but is not, in itself, a regulation document.

 

The second section, Part B, of the document is specifically about the operation of a single type of reactor, the SP-100 as shown by this quote form Part B section 1.3:

Quote

These specifications are applicable only to the SP-I00 Program and the spacecraft on which the SP-IOO reactor is used. Application of the SP-I00 to unmanned short-lived orbit, long-lived orbit and Earth-escape trajectory missions is covered.

The SP-100 was a small fission reactor, very different from the radioisotope thermoelectric generator's used by NASA's deep space probes. The SP-100 was never flown and was terminated as a project in 1994 (see wikipedia).

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