NASA’s space simulator helps scientists study Saturn's moons
At NASA Ames Research Center, space scientist Farid Salama is taking data collected from their Cassini mission to Saturn's moon Titan and recreating the conditions here on Earth in NASA's simulation chamber. Through his research, Salama is hoping to figure out if primitive life was possible on Titan, since the Saturn moon has similar properties to Earth.
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Music NASA is trying to solve big problem, trying to understand the universe around us. What we do exactly in the laboratory, we try to simulate the condition that are found in space. So in our lab, we have a chamber where we recreate these conditions. Inside the chamber, we can have lower temperature. Temperature in space is very, very cold. One example of a mission we have addressed lately, our mission, the Cassini mission. Cassini is a NASA space mission that was sent to study Saturn and the moons of Saturn, and especially Titan. Titan is a very interesting mood of Saturn, because Titan resemble the early earth. So that's why we are so interested in studying Titan. Knowing some of the basic ingredients in Titan's atmosphere, we basically bring them in our chamber and expose them to the kind of energy that would be exposed to in Titan and look how they evolve. What happens to them? Do they become smaller, bigger? How do they stick together? This kind of work has many applications. By understanding this data, we understand the composition of the atmosphere of Titan, and get the feeling if some kind, even of very primitive life was possible on Titan at some time. But bigger than that, the bigger implication is really about the basic science, because studying space, it's addressing unknown questions, new questions, that would not come up in a traditional science study.
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