Year: 2018-19

Aria Mariel Matos, Adriana Matos, Kimberly Cristina Rodríguez, Andres Matos, Jonar Cubillan

Schools: Altamira School, Los Robles School, Luz School

Grade: 9-12

City: Maracaibo

Within the three objectives, we chose the orbital and lander exploration of Titan because we believe it would be the best option to understand the evolution of planetary formation and the evolution of chemical processes that might lead to the formation of life.

According to present media information and knowledge, we know that there is a high concentration of hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane and methane contained in the atmosphere and lakes of Titan, which are very similar to the geographical and physical behavior of fluids distribution of Earth’s oceans, lakes and rivers.

These lakes are calm because – apparently - the waves do not present greater heights than 20 centimeters in length and one centimeter causing a calm atmosphere with mild winds; this condition makes the landing of future exploration ships less complicated.

Accordingly, the change of the winds, tides and rainfall, arise of the climate stations, behave quite similar to Earth: in the summer winds increase creating a turbulent environment, thus creating an increase in the intensity of the waves, creating the same effect similar to what happens in Earth, warming the seas in those times causing possible “hurricanes.” Which would be a great point to photograph and investigate thoroughly, since it could provide new cycles of change and useful information to have a better understanding of future scenes on Earth.

The presence of methane on Titan is convenient since it can be used as a source of energy to researchers, machines, and robots. Methane provides a source of power that avoids the risk of contamination and facilitates the installation of advanced machinery. In addition, it also decreases the amount of the fuel that researchers would have to bring with them in order to explore.

This moon also has irregular cycles of rain, with long periods of drought. It rarely rains, but when it does, it rains in large amounts, often causing floods. After strong torrents of rain the rivers reach a large current and dry slowly until the next “storm.”

We think it would be useful to send an automated submarine (similar to the ones that NASA is testing at Lake Titicaca and in the Arctic Ocean) to investigate the depths of Titan’s lakes with cutting-edge technology. These submarines have a scanner capable to scan and examine the areas, both the surface and the depths of the waters. Ideally, they should be able to send a sample return mission to Earth so that samples can be observed and studied, in the same way that we send robots with similar technology to investigate surfaces.

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