Titan Submarine

Still giddy from New Horizons, news today of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concept grants has me grinning like a fool. In total, seven “phase II” NIAC grants worth $500,000 each, were given to researchers deemed credible enough to step beyond “phase I” research. Phase two grants could hardly be considered generous, in my mind that isn’t the point. NASA elevates research ideas, awarding grants “intended to encourage development of potentially transformative space technology”.

What might NASA deem worthy of encouragement? Ponder Steve Oleson of NASA’s Glen Research Center, he wants to send a submarine to Titan. Oleson believes Saturn’s moon ripe for a dive deep beneath Kraken Mare, Titan’s largest “sea”. Medium cool, but not blowing your horn? How about Bruce Weigmann of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, his “potentially transformative” idea is Heliopause Electrostatic Rapid Transit System – electric sails allowing craft to ride solar wind about the cosmos without the burden of traditional fuel sources.

Click and ponder the link below from NASA.


My formative years were spent glued to the old black and white. It didn’t matter the time of day or night, we were there,  wide eyed captives of rocket launches and Apollo’s accomplishments. Once upon a time science was fiction, today science realizes fiction and hardly anyone notices. Space exploration matters, it forms the foundation of our future. What I wouldn’t give to ignite a smidgeon of awe once shared by scores of breathless dreamers.

Ponder submarines exploring deep chasms of alien seas, picture the possibility of harnessing solar winds. Allow your wildest dreams to fathom a new reality, then smile knowing anything is possible.


8 thoughts on “Titan Submarine

    • That’s what’s so cool and so tragic at the same time. I was born in 1959, we dreamed of fantastic possibilities and sat front row centre as they unfolded. Science fiction fueled imagination.instilled wonder and made us look at the stars. Today that fiction is evolving faster than I ever thought possible yet today’s youth wallow in frivolous cultural absurdities rather than taking a moment to look at the damn sky. 🙂

  1. Just the name Kraken Mare wakes up images of Jules Verne in me. Perhaps a better definition of science is the advanced exploration of the inner 12 year old as she or he ponders the world without the ambition for money, immortality or sex.

    Do you know the best thing Notes, space exploration is almost in our personal realm of possibilities. Launching a balloon into the stratosphere or renting some micro payload on the next rocket is no harder than replacing the window frames on our houses. So the question of the day is: shall we send a slightly modified iPhone into orbit and discover the next thing about space…?

  2. I read about this a few years ago, but am continually disappointed by the time spans offered for “when it might happen.”

    Can we not pull our fingers out and get this underway? The US hands the Pentagon one trillion dollars a year, yet to NASA they toss $17 billion, and that is to do EVERYTHING, including school programs.

    Our priorities are so wrong.

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