Jakarta, CNN Indonesia –
The mission to one of Saturn’s moons, Titan, is said to be stretched to 2027. NASA says changing the launch date will not affect the mission’s design or the science it will carry out.
NASA selected Dragonfly in June 2019 as the next mission in the New Frontiers program for a medium-sized planetary science mission. The dragonfly will land on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon with a dense atmosphere.
The Dragonfly mission then uses a group of rotor, like a drone, to fly from one location to another across its surface.
In the statement, NASA said the decision to postpone the launch for a year was based on factors outside of the Dragonfly project team, including the impact of Covid-19 on the Planetary Science Division budget.
The agency did not say whether the delay would impact spending on missions in fiscal year 2021, which NASA originally requested $ 95.8 million.
NASA also didn’t say whether the delays would impact spending capped under the $ 850 million New Frontiers program.
“NASA has full confidence in the Dragonfly team to deliver a successful mission that performs compelling science,” NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director, Lori Glaze.
NASA officials have warned that efforts to contain the effects of the pandemic will weigh on NASA’s science program. However, previously there were no signs that Dragonfly was in danger of being delayed due to the issue.
Principal investigator for the mission at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Elizabeth “Zibi” Turtle said the initial design and testing work on the mission was continuing despite a shift to most virtual jobs due to the pandemic.
“We are on the right track and making good progress despite limitations in the current work environment. Design work and mission planning activities are continued online while some testing, with the Covid-19-19 security protocol, is being continued in the laboratory,” Turtle said. .
Reporting from Space News, Dragonfly’s previous launch has been delayed by a year. NASA decided to shift the launch from a proposed date of 2025 to 2026 to give missions more time to address technical issues.
Reporting from Scitech Daily, in the delay, NASA said it did not affect its arrival schedule on Titan in 2034 due to changes in trajectory. However, NASA has not stated when the Dragonfly will arrive on Titan Saturn with a new launch date in 2027.
(jnp / DAL)