Link #7: You Can Be Like Superman on Titan

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Link #7: You Can Be Like Superman on Titan

Superman
Infinite Superman by JD Hancock cc2.0

Each one of us has dreamed of being Superman at some time in our lives. There’s nothing better than having X-ray vision, except maybe the ability to fly! While redheads may have been blessed with some superpowers, even they don’t have the power to fly. However, if mankind were born on Titan (one of Saturn’s moons), we all may just have had the ability to fly, courtesy of evolution. Why? Consider the following.

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Why Would We Have Been Supermen on Titan?

Titan
Titan in natural color. The thick atmosphere is orange due to a dense organonitrogen haze.

One of the reasons given for Superman’s ability to fly on Earth is that the gravity on Earth is significantly lower than what it was on his home planet, Krypton. So, what happens when humans find a planet (or in this case a moon), where our weight would be considerably less than that on Earth?

Titan is one such moon. On Titan, the surface gravity is about 14 percent of what it is on Earth. This is a huge difference for humans. So, if we had evolved on Titan instead of Earth, we may have had the power of flight. In fact, if we go to Titan now, we have the chance to take flight. There’s a distinct possibility that this may happen in your lifetime!


Titan’s Suitability for Human Colonization

As our space-related technologies get upgraded, the possibility of human colonies in space goes up. For this reason, scientists and astronomers are constantly searching for planets and moons that are suitable for our future colonies. Titan is one such place. Its temperatures and surface gravity are all suitable for humans to survive.

However, it’s not all ideal, because the air there contains hydrogen cyanide, which is toxic to humans. Even so, after some amount of terraforming, Titan could be made ideal for our colonies.

With the speed with which our technologies are improving, for all you know, then this could become possible by the time you grow up. If you work toward becoming an astronaut, you may be the first person to fly on Titan! There’s just one catch though.


You Will Need Speed to Take Off on Titan

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt at the World Championship Athletics 2009 in Berlin. Photo by Erik van Leeuwen GFDL

A requirement for flight on Titan, that can be dealt with easily, is a body suit sporting wings. The other requirement, however, is slightly more challenging. Even if you have the right body suit, you’ll need to build up enough speed to take off on Titan. How fast do you need to go to fly on Titan? The answer is: as fast as one Usain Bolt. (He’s the Jamaican sprinter who’s possibly the fastest man on Earth!)

You need a speed of 36 feet (11 meters) per second to take off on Titan, and Bolt has touched 40 feet (12 meters) per second in his career. The alternative, of course, is to use body suits with wings that are particularly wide. In fact, if your wings are wide enough, you could even flap them and soar into Titan’s sky. The dream of flying is very much a possibility, for people who are willing to put their backs into it!




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Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Titan
http://www.livescience.com/43834-usain-bolt-could-fly-on-moon-titan.html
http://www.omgfacts.com/lists/9271/Humans-could-fly-on-Saturn-s-moon-Titan-by-flapping-attached-wings

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