Venezuela team

Year: 2018-19

Clara Perez, Clarisa Perez, Roberto Fernandez, Carlota Suárez (team leader)

School: Altamira School, Los Robles School

City: Maracaibo

Teacher: Prof.Eng.Patrick Morton

"We choose this objective due to the great probability of water and life in the Saturn moon, Titan, which should be studied and investigated. Next, we will explain the reasons why NASA should send a spacecraft to Saturn’s largest moon to reveal the mysteries that Titan hides. As a point of departure, according to Cassini Spacecraft’s information, in Titan’s internal structure could be water with ammoniac and salt. And the European Space Agency’s Huygens recollected radio signals that suggest the existence of underground oceans.

This is one of the things that really draw our attention; since water is one of the mains sources of live, we could benefit from this new source of water or even better, we could find life!(as sugested in the Von Karman Lectures we observe and follow through internet).On one hand, in the deepness of the oceans and seas of methane and ethane, there could be other unknown forms of life that don’t need photosynthesis, such as the specimens in the pit of the Marianas like the eel shark or the octopus telescope, etc, but these specimens could be different from the life as we know it.

Titan has many cryovolcanoes on its surface, these cryovolcanoes erupts slurries of water or methane and the volcanic vents could be the source of energy that life needs to form in titan’s oceans.In addition to this, Titan is earthlike in many aspects, such as the existence of seasons (although they last 7 earth years!) and the cycle of methane and ethane is similar to earth’s water cycle (it includes rain, clouds, the formation of lakes, oceans, seas and dunes).

The dunes are made of dark hydrocarbon grains; these dunes are very similar to the dunes in the desserts of the Earth. In addition to this, Titan appears to have tectonic forces, however there’s no evidence of plates. These similarities stand out and make the satellite a very interesting objective to explore.Furthermore, Titan is the only satellite in the solar system with a heavy atmosphere mostly composed of nitrogen, a bit of methane and minimum measures of carbon-rich mixtures.

It is unknown where methane comes from because sunlight fragments the methane so, is there an unknown source of methane? It would be drained by time? We don’t know.In short, all the little things we have identified and all the questions without answers have influenced us and made us conclude that Titan is a prominent objective that should be explored."

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