Space

NASA is drafting a new mission to explore Neptune’s Triton

NASA’s Voyager 2 is the first spacecraft to debut past Mars. This craft has triggered tremendous questions about the planetary system. For instance, people are wondering about Triton’s surface composition besides the icy sheet covering it. Various experts argue that the surface is an emergence of a young landscape continually renewed with fresh matter. However, they fail to understand the kind of energy that keeps the Triton moon active, bearing in mind its distance from the Sun.

To unravel these mysteries, NASA is drafting the Trident mission under its Discovery Program. The name of the image is to commemorate the Roman sea god Neptune, whose weapon was a three-pronged spear. This mission intends to form a knowledge base for understanding the evolution of the solar system.

Triton on itself behaves like a wonder. First, it orbits in the opposite direction to that of Neptune. This orbit is a 23 degrees tilt from Neptune’s symmetry. Scientists believe that the moon might have moved from the icy region of Kuiper Belt thought to be the remnants after the solar system formation. The moon’s ionosphere also seems to be ten times more charged than other moons in the solar system. This charge is on its own strange, implying there is unknown energy capering this charge.

Also, the climate at Triton is a wonder since it shifts from organic flow to snow flow. Louise Prockter, the lead researcher, says that Triton is an opportunistic planetary body whose study can reveal more about the nature of the solar system. She hopes to lead other scientists in designing the Trident mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

The images from the Voyager 2 highlights plumes similar to those on Saturn’s and Jupiter’s moons Enceladus and Europa, respectively. Scientists hypothesize that the cause of the plumes is water from the interior crust. Further exploration of Triton will give a clear understanding of the plumes’ real source and the formation of the interior oceans. This research will help scientists know the source of water and explore this thought on other habitable planets.

Also, the spacecraft has an instrument to intrude on Triton’s magnetic field to determine the presence of interior oceans. Other tools will be venturing the moon’s atmosphere and the icy surface. The mission also intends to venture the invisible lands on Triton. This plan is to enhance the drawing of the remainder of the moon’s surface.

Finally, the mission must launch earlier so that the spacecraft can arrive in Triton before 2040. Any year from this, the Sun will be far north and hence catastrophic for the astronauts due to freezing. 

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