NASA proposed to send the spacecraft to the satellite of Neptune – Triton, to learn more about this mysterious celestial body.
The only time a spaceship was explored by Triton 30 years ago is when Voyager 2 flew past it. During this expedition, researchers saw the melting of huge ice trails, but scientists could not explain why this is happening. Astronomers suggest that there may be a mysterious activity on the celestial body that the Sun does not affect.
“Triton has always been one of the most exciting and intriguing bodies in the solar system”, said Louise Procter, director of NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute. “I always liked the images of a celestial body that nobody knows anything about”.
Triton is the only satellite in the solar system that rotates around the planet in the opposite direction. In addition, it is interesting in that its atmosphere is almost entirely composed of nitrogen with a slight admixture of methane.
NASA wants to launch a mission in October 2025, at which time the Earth aligns with Jupiter to create a window that appears only once every 13 years. This will allow the spacecraft to use Jupiter’s gravity to fly to Triton.
This launch is part of the Discovery program, in the framework of which it is planned to conduct scientific expeditions with the aim of a deeper study of the solar system.