Accuracy in Media

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, passing Saturn’s moon Titan, found elements of propylene. Propylene is a chemical used to make household plastic containers, said the space agency.

NASA cassini satelliteReuters reported that this is “the first definitive detection of the plastic ingredient on any moon or planet, other than Earth,” according to NASA.

The spacecraft’s infrared spectrometer identified small amounts of the chemical in the Saturn moon’s atmosphere. This is one step in trying to figure out the chemicals that make up Titan’s atmosphere, which is a mix of a large variety of chemicals.

The current mission is a cooperative project between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

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