MAY 19, 2019 07:55 AM PDT

Trident: A Proposed Planetary Science Mission That Would Explore Triton

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Triton is Neptune’s largest moon, and images of Triton captured during the Voyager 2 flyby in 1989 captivated the attention of planetary scientists so much that interest in returning to Triton for follow-up studies continues to this very day.

As for what makes Triton so interesting, planetary scientists note that the small number of impact craters on its surface indicate that it’s still very young. Moreover, features on Triton’s surface suggest that it harbors a sub-surface ocean with potentially-habitable conditions for alien life.

Planetary scientists are foaming at the mouth for a chance to revisit Triton, and this time with modern technology that can capture more explicit photographs and gather more detailed information about this mysterious world. Opportunities seem to be few and far in between, chiefly because planetary scientists want to take advantage of planetary alignments to slingshot around Jupiter in a common maneuver dubbed a gravity assist.

One such mission proposal is Trident, a spacecraft that would launch in 2025 and arrive at Trident sometime in 2038. Trident would give planetary scientists the closest look at Triton’s surface yet and provide a detailed surface map of Triton the likes of which we’ve never seen before. It would also carry specialized instruments to determine whether there’s a subsurface ocean and to study the world’s atmospheric conditions, among other things.

Trident is very much still in its proposal stages, but it should be interesting to see if it reaches fruition. After all, a unique planetary alignment coming up in just a few more years makes a mission like this highly feasible.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JAN 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 17, 2020
NASA and SpaceX Reevaluate Commercial Crew Timeline
It appeared that there was recently some tension between NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk regarding the American space agency&rs...
JAN 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 17, 2020
Starlink Aims to Provide Cutting-Edge Worldwide Internet Access
Almost everyone has heard by now that Elon Musk wants to launch well over 40,000 new satellites into space to deliver high-speed and low-latency internet t...
JAN 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 17, 2020
Apollo 12 - A Dramatic Journey Led by the Desire to Explore
On November 19th, the Apollo 12 astronauts, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, became, respectively, the third and the fourth men to ever walk on the Moon’s...
JAN 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 17, 2020
Can We Terraform Mars?
Space agencies and commercial space companies are taking the idea of colonizing Mars very seriously. There’s just one problem: the red planet isn&rsq...
JAN 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 17, 2020
MAVEN Mission Connects Mars' Wind Patterns to Surface Features
NASA’s MAVEN mission, launched on November 18th, 2013, has been orbiting Mars and investigating the planet’s features for more than half a deca...
JAN 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 17, 2020
Here's What Would Happen if the Earth Stopped Orbiting the Sun
The Earth orbits the Sun once every 365 days, or one full year. It does this while whizzing through the vacuum of space at break-neck speeds of up to 110,0...
Loading Comments...