Why We Should Colonize Titan After Mars Before 2100

The idea of Colonizing Mars seems possible before 2050 as Space agencies continue to launch rovers, Landers, and orbiters to study the red planet. But After Mars, we may look towards colonizing Titan. What’s unique about Colonizing Titan moon? This article will enlighten you on why Titan is an excellent destination for human civilization. Let’s dig in.

When We Began to Look Towards Titan

In 1655, a Dutch amateur Astronomer named Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan as the first known moon of Saturn. However, we did not learn more about the Titan moon until the 20th century. The uniqueness of Titan remained a mystery until Pioneer 11 space probe flew past the moon on Sept 1, 1979.

Scientists closely analyzed the data returned by Titan and confirmed that Titan is Saturn’s second-largest moon. Since Titan was discovered as Saturn’s largest moon, scientists began to wonder about the possibilities of colonizing Titan in the future.

The Voyager 1 and 2 space probes flew past the moon in the 1980s but found it challenging to see the icy moon’s surface due to its hazy atmosphere. 

In 2004, Cassini Spacecraft, alongside the Huygens probe of the European Space Agency, visited Saturn’s Orbit for the first time. The Cassini spacecraft remained in Saturn’s orbit while the Huygens probe was detached and sent to Titan’s surface.

As the space probe passed through Titan’s atmosphere, it collected the moon’s atmospheric pressure. The space probe used its parachute to descend slowly and landed safely on Titan’s surface on January 14, 2005. This milestone was celebrated globally as the first successful landing mission in the outer solar system. The Huygens gathered unique images of Titans’ surface.

From this mission, scientists learned that Titan has rains, clouds, rivers, lakes, subsurface ocean salt water, and other exciting resources. The Cassini Huygens mission made scientists assume that Titan may be a perfect destination to colonize in. the future.

Why we Should Colonize Titan

The remarkable discoveries made by the Cassini Huygen space probe about Titan have given us reasons to colonize titan. Specifically, future civilizations will be interested in colonizing the moon for the following reasons.

1. Titan has rain and plenty of water.

Titan has remained the only celestial body with closest similarities to earth as it has abundant water on its surface. The Cassini Huygens space mission revealed that Titan has oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers. Since the moon receives less than 1% of the sunlight that reaches Earth, Titan has abundant ice on its surface.

Hence, instead of allowing water on its surface, Titan has methane and ethane as the only surface liquid on the icy surface at the extreme temperature of -179.5°C. Titan also has solid and liquid hydrocarbons, which are abundant on its surface.

2. Excessive Natural Gas.

If you think the earth has enough natural gas, you will rethink when you learn about the abundance of natural resources on Titan. Specifically, Titan has hundreds of times more natural gas than Earth. But since Titan’s atmosphere does not have oxygen, these natural gas won’t ignite a flame. Hence, we efficiently extra them to power colonies or factories on Titan’s surface.

3. Low Radiation.

Titan is the most Earth-like celestial body because of its dense atmosphere and solar magnetic field. Hence, its thick atmosphere and Solar magnetic field help in protecting its surface from dangerous ionizing radiation. Therefore, humans exploring the icy moon will likely not consider radiation a potential threat since they are highly protected by Titans atmosphere.

4. Oxygen from Titan subsurface ocean.

In 2014, NASA disclosed that Titan might have a subsurface ocean that contains liquid water and dissolved salt. Scientists have also revealed that an excessive water supply could provide oxygen for humans. Titans’ atmosphere comprises more than 98% of nitrogen but does not have oxygen.

However, colonies will only focus on extracting oxygen from the ocean and use Titan’s nitrogen-rich atmosphere alongside the generated oxygen to produce breathable air for themselves. 

5. Numerous materials for building stuff.

Titan has abundant natural resources to accommodate complex technologies that we can make to meet the future needs of human civilization. Colonists will find almost everything they need to build colonies on Titan’s surface. Titan’s core comprises water-bearing silicate rocks.

Hence, colonies will find available materials to make the most sophisticated computers and other technologies we are yet to develop on Earth. The presence of abundant liquid and solid hydrocarbons on Titan’s surface is an additional benefit to colonists. They will use these excellent materials to build factories, colonies, and sophisticated technologies to set humans on another level of space exploration.

How We Will Colonize Titan

The journey to colonize Titan will not commence immediately because of distance. Based on our current space technologies, it will take about seven years to reach Titan and another seven years to get back to earth. However, if the spaceflight follows a well-timed gravity assist, we could reduce the journey to Titan to 5 years.

But either way, taking humans on this long journey will have a devastating impact on their bodies due to the weightlessness of space. So, Space agencies have concentrated more on colonizing Mars before 2040. But after we successfully put humans on Mars before 2040, plans to send humans beyond Mars will likely become the top priority of space agencies.

Europa or Titan may probably be the best space agencies. However, unlike Titan, Jupiter’s Radiations significantly impact Europa’s orbit. So our chances of sending humans to Europa are pretty limited because of this problem. But Titan is a celestial body open to welcoming humanity anytime soon.

Space agencies will not be in a hurry to send humans to Titan. Space agencies will send Robotic rovers first to explore Titan’s surface and discover more mysteries about its environment. 

As NASA is preparing for its human-crewed missions to Mars under the Artemis space program, the space agency also has great plans for Titan. NASA has already planned a robotic lander mission named DragonFly to visit Titan in 2034.

The Dragonfly mission was earlier scheduled to commence the journey to the Titan moon in 2026 but was later rescheduled to June 2027 due to Covid 19. So The DragonFly will begin its journey in 2027 and reach Titan in 2034 to commence its 32 months mission timeline.

During these 2.7 years on Titan, Dragonfly will explore the icy moon’s environment to improve our knowledge about the moon. The space probe will utilize Titan’s dense, rich nitrogen atmosphere to fly around the moon like a drone.

Keep in mind that the nitrogen in Titan’s atmosphere is about four times thicker than the nitrogen contained in Earth’s atmosphere. So NASA will design the Dragonfly in such a way that it will take advantage of Titan’s dense nitrogen-rich atmosphere to explore the moon.

Data returned from the DragonFly mission will educate scientists on how to commence sending rovers and landers to Titan in the future. The motivation from a human-crewed mission to Mars will inspire us to access the Titan moon before 2100. However, before sending humans to colonize Titan, we must have sent advanced self-repairing robots to build the habitats and Titan’s surface.

Once these habitats are ready, space agencies will select a group of well-trained astronauts to visit the moon. Before 2100, we must have developed better propulsion systems, advanced spacesuits, and other sophisticated technologies to sustain humans in deep space.

Just like the moon landing in 1969 enabled us to advance technologically within a few years, we will likely do the same after sending humans to Mars. A crewed mission to Mars will teach space agencies how to sustain humans in deep space. So, it will no longer be a new idea to protect astronauts while they travel to Titan to set up colonies and explore the diverse nature of the moon.

On Titan, settlers can build floating cities, large industries to mine the abundant moon resources and highly efficient computers that cannot operate on Earth. Since Titan is cold, we can operate highly advanced computers at high efficiencies without destroying the systems.

So Titan will give us a suitable environment to advance technologically with time. But a crewed mission to Titan will likely commence after we have successfully put humans on Mars. Let’s hope we succeed in Colonizing Mars before 2050, so we can have enough time to prepare for a crewed mission to Titan before 2100.

FAQs

Does Titan Have Oxygen?

Despite having a rich nitrogen-dense atmosphere, Titan does not have oxygen on its surface. But NASA disclosed in 2014 that Titan has a subsurface ocean and dissolved salt. This abundance of water could simply mean oxygen can also be available on Titan. But future colonists will still need oxygen masks to explore the surface of Titan. The good news is that Titan’s rich nitrogen-dense atmosphere will enable colonists to explore Titan’s surface without pressure suits.

Does Titan Have Water?

Titan has abundant subsurface water that will not be difficult to extract. Scientists revealed that Titan’s extreme temperature freezes water on its surface. So colonists could find water beneath the icy surface.

What is Titan Moon?

Titan moon is the second largest natural satellite of Saturn. The moon is one of the enriched celestial bodies within the solar system. Titan moon has captured the interest of space agencies because of its uniqueness and abundant natural resources. We are just getting started exploring the moon. The Dragonfly mission to Titan in 2034 will reveal more facts about the Titan moon.

Can We Live On Titan?

Despite having a dense atmosphere, Titan’s surface has an extreme temperature of -292 degrees Fahrenheit (equivalent to -179.6 degrees Celsius, or 93.6 Kelvin). At this extreme cold temperature, water ice exists as rocks. So, humans will freeze up within seconds if they walk on the moon without protective suits. So we currently do not have the technology to live on Titan. But we have developed technologies to sustain humans on Titan before 2100.

Conclusion

Titan moon is one of the fascinating celestial bodies in the solar system. We may look toward sending humans to Titan before the next century. The success of this mission depends on how fast we send humans to Mars. Do you think we can live on titan?

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