NASA plans to send a drone to Saturn’s largest moon

The NASA logo is displayed at the agency's booth during CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 11, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

NASA is sending a drone to explore Saturn’s largest moon.

The space agency said Thursday the Dragonfly mission will fly over Titan, exploring different locations on the icy moon to study whether it can support microbial life.

The mission, part of NASA’s competitive New Frontiers program, beat out another possible project to collect samples from a nearby comet. It will launch in 2026 and arrive at Titan in 2034.

Titan is a haze-covered world with a thick atmosphere. The moon also has lakes of methane and an ocean below the surface, making it an attractive place to explore whether its environment can support primitive life.

Titan was last studied by the international Cassini-Huygens mission. In 2017, the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn, ending two decades of exploration.

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