Scientists to send pedalo to Saturn's largest moon Titan
Titan, Saturn's largest moon appears before the planet in this NASA handout
Plans to send an interplanetary pedalo to Saturn's largest moon Titan have been unveiled by scientists.
The robot craft would land in one of the moon's lakes and sail around propelled by paddles.
Other versions of the probe are fitted with screws or wheels.
Like Earth, it has a thick atmosphere and large bodies of liquid on its surface – only Titan's chilly seas consist of lighter fluid chemicals instead of water.
The existence of hydrocarbon lakes, seas and rivers, which cover much of the moon's northern hemisphere, was confirmed by the European Space Agency's Huygens lander, which visited Titan as part of the Cassini mission in 2005.
Huygens landed on solid ground but was designed to float for short periods.
The new plans, presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Madrid, envisage dropping a boat-like probe in the middle of Ligeia Mare, the largest lake near Titan's north pole.
The craft would then set sail for the coast, taking scientific measurements on the way.
Scientists expect the Titan Lake In-Situ Sampling Propelled Explorer (Talise) mission to last six months to a year.
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