As the long-running Cassini mission enters its last year at Saturn, NASA is moving forward with an early-stage technology study to send a drone to its moon Titan. The agency awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 contract for Global Aerospace Corp. and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems to create a vehicle known as the Titan Winged Aerobot built to explore Saturn’s largest moon and prepare a prototype for testing on Earth. SBIR Phase 1 contracts last six months and are worth up to $125,000, according to NASA . “Titan is a cold, harsh environment that poses many technical challenges for any lighter-than-air exploration platform,” said Benjamin Goldman, principal investigator of the Phase I effort, in a statement from Global.
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