If Dr Ellen Stofan—team leader of the TiME mission—has her way, this will be the first nautical ship to sail across waters outside of planet Earth. Its name is the Titan Mare Explorer.

If approved by NASA, the $425 million space boat would be launched in January 2016, water landing on the Saturn's moon in June 2023. It would study the Ligeia Mare or the Kraken mare, located in the north hemisphere of Titan. Scientists believe that these huge lakes are composed of liquid methane, ethane, or a mix of both hydrocarbons. While these highly-flammable components are not stable under Earth's conditions, they are stable liquids under Titan's −290 °F.

Advertisement

The obvious objective would be to identify the precise components of these seas, their depth, and physical features. Then, the space boat has a little nuclear device that would set the lakes on fire, causing a chain reaction that would make the planet explode, pushing Saturn out of its orbit, which in turn would make it to collide with Jupiter, which will finally gain enough mass to ignite a fusion process, creating a star that would finally make Europa an habitable planet, so it can hold lifeforms that listen to Abba, drink lots of wine, and eat tapas at bars.

OK, maybe it won't do the last thing, but that's what I would like to see. [TiME Mission Document via PhysOrg]