This article needs to be updated.(August 2021)
Titan Winged Aerobot (TWA) is a new aerobot exploration vehicle (under creation) to enter the surface of Saturn's largest moon Titan. NASA has given this contract to Global Aerospace Corporation and Northrop Grumman collectively on July 6, 2016. Under the contract of 2016 NASA Small Business Innovation Research, both the teams will develop the TWA concept and produce a proof of concept prototype for Earth-based testing.
Titan Winged Aerobot features will be its ultra-low power requirement and extended vertical range, both of which is inspired by Northrop Grumman's Titan lifting entry atmosphere flight (T-Leaf) platform. Titan's atmosphere is denser than Earth's atmosphere, with the atmospheric pressure of 1.45 atm. Its atmosphere contains 98.4% nitrogen with remaining 1.6% is composed of 1.4% methane and 0.1-0.2% hydrogen. Titan's cold and harsh environment can cause problems to any lighter-than-air exploration. TWA will be designed in the way that it can overcome those challenges.
TWA is the vehicle with 3-D directional control so that it can complete its objectives of researching Titan's environment, while using minimal power from a single radioisotope power source. Constantly moving in an atmosphere will facilitate long lived flight at low altitudes and target delivery to the surface.
Titan is the only moon with an atmosphere, and its atmosphere is the only known nitrogen-rich atmosphere in the Solar System. The observations from Voyager 1 and Cassini–Huygens shows that its atmosphere is denser than Earth's with the atmospheric pressure of 1.45 atm. It is 1.9 times as massive as Earth overall.
An aerobot is an aerial robot, usually used in the context of an unmanned space probe or unmanned aerial vehicle.
An atmosphere is a layer of gas or layers of gases that envelop a planet, and is held in place by the gravity of the planetary body. A planet retains an atmosphere when the gravity is great and the temperature of the atmosphere is low. A stellar atmosphere is the outer region of a star, which includes the layers above the opaque photosphere; stars of low temperature might have outer atmospheres containing compound molecules.
Venera 4, also designated 4V-1 No.310, was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus. The probe comprised a lander, designed to enter the Venusian atmosphere and parachute to the surface, and a carrier/flyby spacecraft, which carried the lander to Venus and served as a communications relay for it.
The colonization of Venus has been a subject of many works of science fiction since before the dawn of spaceflight, and is still discussed from both a fictional and a scientific standpoint. However, with the discovery of Venus's extremely hostile surface environment, attention has largely shifted towards the colonization of the Moon and Mars instead, with proposals for Venus focused on habitats floating in the upper-middle atmosphere and on terraforming.
Saturn’s largest moon Titan is one of several candidates for possible future colonization of the outer Solar System, though protection against extreme cold is a major consideration.
The terraforming of Mars or the terraformation of Mars is a hypothetical procedure that would consist of a planetary engineering project or concurrent projects, with the goal of transforming Mars from a planet hostile to terrestrial life to one that can sustainably host humans and other lifeforms free of protection or mediation. The process would presumably involve the rehabilitation of the planet's extant climate, atmosphere, and surface through a variety of resource-intensive initiatives, and the installation of a novel ecological system or systems.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the aerospace field:
The atmosphere of the Moon is a very scant presence of gases surrounding the Moon. For most practical purposes, the Moon is considered to be surrounded by vacuum. The elevated presence of atomic and molecular particles in its vicinity compared to interplanetary medium, referred to as "lunar atmosphere" for scientific objectives, is negligible in comparison with the gaseous envelopes surrounding Earth and most planets of the Solar System. The pressure of this small mass is around 3×10−15 atm (0.3 nPa), varying throughout the day, and in total mass less than 10 metric tonnes. Otherwise, the Moon is considered not to have an atmosphere because it cannot absorb measurable quantities of radiation, does not appear layered or self-circulating, and requires constant replenishment due to the high rate at which its gases get lost into space.
The atmosphere of Titan is the dense layer of gases surrounding Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. It is the only thick atmosphere of a natural satellite in the Solar System. Titan's lower atmosphere is primarily composed of nitrogen (94.2%), methane (5.65%), and hydrogen (0.099%). There are trace amounts of other hydrocarbons, such as ethane, diacetylene, methylacetylene, acetylene, propane, PAHs and of other gases, such as cyanoacetylene, hydrogen cyanide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, cyanogen, acetonitrile, argon and helium. The isotopic study of nitrogen isotopes ratio also suggest acetonitrile may be present in quantities exceeding hydrogen cyanide and cyanoacetylene. The surface pressure is about 50% higher than on Earth at 1.5 bars which is near the triple point of methane and allows there to be gaseous methane in the atmosphere and liquid methane on the surface. The orange color as seen from space is produced by other more complex chemicals in small quantities, possibly tholins, tar-like organic precipitates.
A lifting gas or lighter than air gas is a gas that has a lower density than normal atmospheric gases and rises above them as a result. It is required for aerostats to create buoyancy, particularly in lighter-than-air aircraft, which include free balloons, moored balloons, and airships. Only certain lighter than air gases are suitable as lifting gases. Dry air has a density of about 1.29 g/L at standard conditions for temperature and pressure (STP) and an average molecular mass of 28.97 g/mol, and so lighter than air gases have a density lower than this.
Atmospheric satellite or pseudo-satellite is a marketing term for an aircraft that operates in the atmosphere at high altitudes for extended periods of time, in order to provide services conventionally provided by an artificial satellite orbiting in space.
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous, environmental satellites. JPSS will provide the global environmental data used in numerical weather prediction models for forecasts, and scientific data used for climate monitoring. JPSS will aid in fulfilling the mission of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the Department of Commerce. Data and imagery obtained from the JPSS will increase timeliness and accuracy of public warnings and forecasts of climate and weather events, thus reducing the potential loss of human life and property and advancing the national economy. The JPSS is developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who is responsible for operation of JPSS. Three to five satellites are planned for the JPSS constellation of satellites. JPSS satellites will be flown, and the scientific data from JPSS will be processed, by the JPSS – Common Ground System (JPSS-CGS).
A Mars aircraft is a vehicle capable of sustaining powered flight in the atmosphere of Mars. So far, the Mars helicopter Ingenuity is the only object to ever fly on Mars, completing 35 successful flights covering 7.49 km (4.65 mi) in 59 minutes 52 seconds of flight time.
Firefly Aerospace is an American private aerospace firm based in Austin, Texas, that develops launch vehicles for commercial launches to orbit. The company completed its $75 million Series A investment round in May 2021, which was led by DADA Holdings. The current company was formed when the assets of the former company Firefly Space Systems were acquired by EOS Launcher in March 2017, which was then renamed Firefly Aerospace. Firefly's purported purpose is to increase access to space, similar to other NewSpace organizations.
Triton Hopper is a proposed NASA lander to Triton, the largest moon of Neptune. The idea is to harvest the abundant nitrogen ice on the surface of Triton and use it as propellant for multiple short flights and explore a variety of locations. The concept transitioned in March 2018 to Phase II to refine their designs and explore aspects of implementing the new technology.
Dragonfly is a planned spacecraft and NASA mission, which will send a robotic rotorcraft to the surface of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. It would be the first aircraft on Titan and is intended to make the first powered and fully controlled atmospheric flight on any moon, with the intention of studying prebiotic chemistry and extraterrestrial habitability. It will then use its vertical takeoffs and landings (VTOL) capability to move between exploration sites.
NOAA-20, designated JPSS-1 prior to launch, is the first of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous, environmental satellites called the Joint Polar Satellite System. NOAA-20 was launched on 18 November 2017 and joined the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite in the same orbit. NOAA-20 operates about 50 minutes ahead of Suomi NPP, allowing important overlap in observational coverage. Circling the Earth from pole-to-pole, it crosses the equator about 14 times daily, providing full global coverage twice a day. This gives meteorologists information on "atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash, and fire detection" so as to enhance weather forecasting including hurricane tracking, post-hurricane recovery by detailing storm damage and mapping of power outages.
Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) is a mission concept by the aerospace companies Northrop Grumman and LGarde for a powered, long endurance, semi-buoyant inflatable aircraft that would explore the upper atmosphere of planet Venus for biosignatures as well as perform atmospheric measurements. The inflatable aircraft has a trapezoidal shape that is sometimes called delta wing or flying wing, and would have dual electric-driven propellers that would be stowed during atmospheric entry.
NG-15, previously known as OA-15, was the fifteenth launch of the Northrop Grumman robotic resupply spacecraft Cygnus and its fourteenth flight to the International Space Station (ISS) under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The mission launched on 20 February 2021 at 17:36:50 UTC. This is the fourth launch of Cygnus under the CRS-2 contract.
The Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), also called the Minimal Habitation Module (MHM) and formerly known as the Utilization Module, is a scaled-down habitation module as part of the Lunar Gateway. It will be built by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. A single Falcon Heavy will launch HALO along with the PPE module and Halo Lunar Communication System, no earlier than November 2024.