Space

The launch of DragonFly encounters delay until next year

Space technology became clear from the initial periods of space travel that it was an essential factor for fundamental science and innovation. Different methods were required for new experiences. Designers were motivated by rockets’ expense to make spaceship machines lighter, simpler, and with the best quality and reliability. The space requirements were powered by solar panels, batteries, and hydrogen fuel and supported several industries on Earth.   

On the other hand, commercial space travel is taking a new turn since space technology attracts many investors. NASA currently contracts SpaceX and Boeing to launch astronauts into space. The move inspired several private space organizations to up their game and innovate ways to make spacecraft cost-effective and efficient. According to NASA reports, the dragonfly mission set to launch in 2026 will be postponed to 2027 due to insufficient funds to further the research. 

Nevertheless, the postponed launch will not affect the design and aim of the DragonFly mission. NASA’s plan aimed at deploying Dragon Fly to Titan- Saturn’s moon- by 2026. Once the satellite lands on Titan, a set of drones will be released to fly from one region to analyze the dense atmosphere and the surface components. NASA explains that the decision to postpone the launch is outside the team’s capacity. Also, the delay might be linked to the 2021 fiscal budget.

According to Lori Glaze, the managing director of NASA’s planetary division noted that NASA is assured of the DragonFly team’s competency to launch a successful flight to Titan. Consequently, NASA’s board had issued a warning that the plans to combat the pandemic might affect future spaceflights’ deployment, including Dragon Fly. Previously, as the DragonFly experts and technicians worked on the spacecraft, no sign of delay was visible, and the plan seemed to come to pass. Working virtually did not affect the launch since the time and energy input was equal to working on site. Elizabeth Turtle, the investigating director of deployments at Johns Hopkins University, noted that the work input to make DragonFly launch in 2026 was still in progress despite the implementation of the Pandemic rules.

Conversely, Dragon Fly deployment was in 2025 when the idea came on board. However, NASA decided to shift the mission to 2026 to allocate enough time and resources to ensure a successful deployment. The shift from 2025 to 2026 insignificantly affected the projected time that DragonFly will arrive on Titan. Moreover, NASA is still quiet about the time Dragon Fly will arrive on Titan after the postponed date.

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