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The Talks at Google podcast - where great minds meet.

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Sep 22, 2023

Dr. Nathalie Cabrol visits Google to discuss the science and technology of exploring Saturn’s moon, Titan.

Titan is the largest moon in the Saturn system. It is 50% larger than the Earth's moon, has an atmosphere, and is presumed to have seas filled with methane and other hydrocarbons. In order for humanity to explore Titan in the future, we need exploration systems that are radically different from those currently used in space. In particular, we need to develop robots that can accumulate knowledge about their environment; understand mission priorities, and make and evaluate observations as events happen on site, not only when receiving commands from Earth.

Dr. Nathalie A. Cabrol leads projects in planetary sciences and astrobiology at NASA. She develops science exploration strategies for Mars and Titan, and designs robotic field experiments. She explores lakes in the Andes up to 6,000 meters high, where environmental conditions are analogous to early Mars. Through geologic and diving expeditions, she documents life's adaptation to extreme environments, the effect of rapid climate change on lake ecosystems and habitats, its geobiological signatures, and relevance to planetary exploration.

Originally published in June of 2014.

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