In advance of the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, NASA has released a concept video and a paper describing a submarine that would explore Kraken Mare, one of the methane seas on Saturn’s frigid moon Titan. The robotic submarine would be nuclear-powered and equipped with mast-mounted and seafloor cameras, a sampling system, and well as a large phased array antenna that would transmit data over a billion miles to Earth.
Titan has a thick atmosphere, methane rain, and three seas with composition that is similar to Liquefied Natural Gas on Earth. Using conventional propulsors to yaw around, the submarine would explore the shoreline and depths of Kraken Mare, recording meteorological observations. But don’t get excited to hear more about Titan’s exotic environment just yet. NASA’s plans aim for a 2040 splashdown.