NASA aims to land robot on comet or Titan in 2020s

NASA aims to develop concepts for the mission of landing robots into comets or Titan. The agency has selected two finalists planned to be launched in the mid-2020 is a robot mission to retrieve material from a comet and unmanned drone rotor to explore Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced two concepts for an extensive and competitive peer review process. CAESAR and Dragonfly concepts were selected from 12 proposals submitted in April under the New Frontiers program.

Tinuku NASA aims to land robot on comet or Titan in 2020s

The Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR) mission attempted to weed out a sample of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet that was successfully explored by the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft. The proposal led by Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca will be managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Dragonfly's mission is to fly an unmanned drone rotor to explore chemistry and prebiotics from dozens of sites on Titan. A sea world beneath the surface in the solar system that is theorized saves lives. The mission was led by Elizabeth Turtle of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.

CAESAR and Dragonfly will receive funding until the end of 2018 to further develop the concept. NASA plans to choose one in the spring of 2019 to continue the next mission phase.

NASA also announced the selection of two mission concepts that will receive technology development funds to prepare them for future mission competitions are Enceladus Life Signatures and Habitability (ELSAH) and Venus In situ Composition Investigations (VICI).