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Titan is just waiting for us... Titan wants us...


space.com

HOUSTON, Texas – A leading planetary scientist said that Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, should be targeted for a new round of outer planet exploration.

Thanks to new data streaming in from the Cassini mission, said Jonathan Lunine, Professor of Planetary Sciences and of Physics at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Titan deserves prime-time scrutiny, perhaps using an airship to reveal the moon as never before.

“(However) all plans for exploring the outer solar system, more or less, are in complete ruins at the moment,” Lunine said during a major lecture at the 37th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), being held here throughout the week.

Lunine said that the scientific community can start with a clean sheet of paper. “We have no baggage or anything that’s weighing us down in terms of thinking about what we might do.”

A state of mind

The outer reaches of our solar system is not a destination, in the same sense that the Moon and Mars might be, Lunine said. “It’s not a place in the sense of a planet…it’s a region. Some people might say it’s a state of mind…”

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posted: 3/14/2006

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