April 27, 2005
Dirty Skies

While the Huygens probe's mission may be over, Cassini continues to examine that enigmatic Saturn moon, Titan:

During its closest flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on April 16, the Cassini spacecraft came within 1,027 kilometers (638 miles) of the moon's surface and found that the outer layer of the thick, hazy atmosphere is brimming with complex hydrocarbons.

Scientists believe that Titan's atmosphere may be a laboratory for studying the organic chemistry that preceded life and provided the building blocks for life on Earth. The role of the upper atmosphere in this organic "factory" of hydrocarbons is very intriguing to scientists, especially given the large number of different hydrocarbons detected by Cassini during the flyby.

While Mars's atmosphere is thin enough that flying probes can be problematic, I wonder if Titan's is thick enough? After all, the chances for a liquid surface on Titan are much greater, and I'd hate for the next mission to that moon to end with a sad "splork!"

Posted by scott at April 27, 2005 03:19 PM

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found this interesting:
[ a review at internetvideo.com]

Gaia Selene
This is a very well produced, very well thought out documentary about space exploration and the future - and more specifically, how moon exploration and colonization may be the best solution for solving many of Earth's problems regarding the energy crisis, global warming and others. The ideas and concepts are very thought provoking and extremely interesting. This would be a great DVD to show to middle and high school students to ignite their interest in science and the potential of outer space. In addition, the political angle to space exploration is also examined as the moviemakers explain how Vietnam short-circuited America's move into space during the late 1960's and how the current Middle east wars and conflicts are sapping money and interest from space today. You can get more information at http://www.gaiaselene.com (MS)

Buy Gaia Selene - Saving the Earth by Colonizing the Moon from Amazon right now - InternetVideo.com

Posted by: space girl on May 1, 2005 08:15 PM
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