In brief: Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is a promising candidate for extraterrestrial life. NASA may be sending a "Dragonfly" drone to explore Titan's surface.
Sending a "Dragonfly" drone to an alien world
With its vast oceans and methane-filled rivers and lakes, Titan is a prime candidate for the search for extraterrestrial life. While our knowledge of Saturn's largest moon grew tremendously thanks to the now-defunct Cassini mission, the question of whether Titan is home to primitive lifeforms remains a mystery. Now, NASA's recent selection of Titan as a possibility for further exploration under its next New Frontiers mission indicates they might want more answers. Selected from a field of 12 possibilities, NASA chose a quad-copter known as "Dragonfly" as one of two finalists for its next nearly billion-dollar mission. The "Dragonfly" drone, like its namesake, would flit between different parts of Titan's surface to study the moon's landscape and its habitability.
The other contender is a mission to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where a lander would snag a piece of the comet's nucleus and return it to Earth for further study.
The plutonium-powered drone would alternate between taking measurements on the moon's surface and flying from one site to another, traveling tens to hundreds of kilometers with each flight.