NASA Will Explore Other Worlds Using Drones The space agency announced its plans to explore the Saturn moon Titan using a life-hunting rotorcraft called Dragonfly. The craft is intended to land on Titan by 2034 and spend years gathering data and photos of the frozen moon.

It’s disappointing that The Sun carried only a short wire service story online — and nothing in its print editions — about NASA’s June 27 selection of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to design and build a spacecraft to explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan (“NASA plans to send a drone to Saturn's largest moon,” July 1).

I guess it was just too much of a bother for The Sun to send a reporter to visit APL (22 grueling miles away), or even just to carry APL’s own press release, which is much more detailed than the Associated Press story The Sun used online. Even my local county paper printed the story.

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APL’s proposed “Dragonfly” mission will land a large, quad-rotor drone on frozen Titan, which has a thick nitrogen atmosphere, to explore many of its intriguing surface features. Titan has mountains, craters, lakes of methane (with islands), dune fields and river valleys. It sometimes rains methane there.

Dragonfly is one of NASA’s most imaginative and aggressive missions to one of the solar system’s most interesting places.

Dragonfly is an exciting project for Maryland and for space science. One would have hoped that The Sun would have more interest in an endeavor that connects our state to a frozen and mysterious world almost a billion miles away.

George Kaplan, Colora

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