Friday, October 16, 2009
Surfing Titan's waves in a nuclear-powered boat
Planning a trip to Titan, one of Saturn's moons? Well, you're going to want to go prepared. Why not bring along a nuclear-powered boat for sailing the seas of ethane, methane and propane?
That's what NASA-funded geologist Ellen Stofan suggests with her design, seen above. The Titan Mare Explorer (or TiME for short) uses nuclear power rather than solar power because the methane raine in Titan's atmosphere cuts down the suns rays considerably (as does the distance from the sun). It'll be powered by a new kind of nuclear power cell known as the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). Cool! Be sure to send a postcard when you get there and let us know how the weather is.
[DVICE via Space via io9]