Titan Mare Explorer (TiME)
- Concept Led By: N/A
- Companies Involved: Proxey Research
It needs to be highlighted that the Titan Mare Explorer, also known as TiME, is not a completely dead concept. Simply put, sometimes spacecraft designs are good ideas but the proposals are made too early. Proposed back in 2009 by Proxey Research, it was designed to be part of NASA’s Discovery Program. TiME is a lander specifically made to use for Saturn’s notable moon, Titan. The entire goal of the TiME craft is to be used to measure the “organic constituents” on Titan and perform the very first nautical exploration of an extraterrestrial sea. It would analyze the nature of Titan and even observe the shoreline.
Discovery-class missions at the time were given a hard cap of roughly $425 million, which didn’t count the launch vehicle. Since it was literally made to use for a program where this exact concept was useful, it made sense to go with it. NASA even liked the idea, which is why the TiME mission design reached the finalist stage during the Discovery mission selection process. It did not get picked and the United States Senate never marked it for funding even up to 2013. While the TiME spacecraft was useful, a Titan submarine was later proposed. Thus, the Titan Mare Explorer might never make it into space.