The surface it saw had many geologic features similar to those found on Earth, including plateaus, dune-filled deserts, and, at its poles, liquid seas and rivers. But on Titan, where temperatures average a frigid 94 K, the “rocks” are made of water ice and the seas are filled with ethane and methane, hydrocarbons that are gases on Earth. The moon’s stew of organic molecules and water, many scientists believe, could have resulted in reactions to create amino acids and the bases used to build DNA’s double helix. It’s as if Titan has been conducting experiments on life formation for millions of years, Turtle says. “Dragonfly is designed to go pick up the results of those experiments and study them.”
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