ORACLE: A sample-return mission to Titan

Theresa C. Marlin, Chloe Gentgen, Iosto Fodde, Julieta Groshaus, Anthony Hennig, Ben Hudson, Angela Lin, Lucas Pabarcius, Eric Smith, Nathalie Vilchis Lagunes, Mitchell Wall, Rebecca Jiang, Trupti Mahendrakar, Yuri Shimane, Edwin Christuraj, Mariah E. Gammill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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With a hazy atmosphere, a hydrocarbon cycle, seasons, and a diverse set of surface features, Titan is one of the most unique objects in the Solar System. Further exploration of Titan can elucidate its geologic activity, chemical history, and astrobiological potential. While one-way missions can provide a wealth of information about Titan through remote sensing, in-situ measurements, and communication relays back to Earth, returning samples from Titan allows for unparalleled scientific analysis. Here, we propose a novel mission concept to explore and analyze Titan in situ and return samples from its hydrocarbon lakes. Within ORACLE, a separate lander and orbiter segment will perform all the scientific investigations and collect the hydrocarbon lake samples. After collection of the samples, another segment will return the samples to Earth while the lander and orbiter continue investigating Titan. This mission concept demonstrates novel Titan lake sampling technology and incorporates sample return and in-situ scientific investigation to significantly increase our understanding of Titan, with far broader planetary science implications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASCEND 2022
Place of PublicationReston, VA.
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781624106620
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022
EventASCEND 2022 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: 24 Oct 202226 Oct 2022


ConferenceASCEND 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas


  • Titan
  • astronautics
  • space missions
  • interplanetary transfers
  • ORACLE mission
  • Saturn


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