NASA has released a concept submarine that would be capable of traversing the methane sea of Kraken Mare on Saturn’s moon Titan. In the video above, you catch a glimpse of what that submarine may look like.
Extreme Tech reports that NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program has come up with a concept design that would bring space exploration to the depths of Titan’s methane seas. The Titan Submarine Phase I Conceptual Design was made to be able to explore both the shore of Titan’s largest body of liquid, Kraken Mare, as well submerge and explore the approximate 525 foot body of liquid methane. Kraken Mare is estimated to cover nearly 154,000 square miles.
The video description of the Titan Submarine Phase I says that the design was developed to withstand the methane rain, rivers, and seas.
“What would a submarine to explore the liquid methane seas of Saturn’s Moon Titan look like? This video shows one submarine concept that would explore both the shoreline and the depths of this strange world that has methane rain, rivers and seas! The design was developed for the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, by NASA Glenn’s COMPASS Team, and technologists and scientists from the Applied Physics Lab and submarine designers from the Applied Research Lab.”
The full handout on the Titan Submarine Phase I says that the submersible vehicle was designed for a potential splashdown in 2040. The submarine would weigh approximately one ton and include a Stirling generator power source and radioisotope. The vehicle would take around 90 days to explore the perimeter of Kraken Mare along with a submersion across the central depths of the methane sea.