I have heard that Titan has early Earth like atmosphere and has various hydrocarbons and nitrogen gas, where hydrocarbons are in liquid state and undergo same seasonal patterns as earth. With these much similarities with our planet and presence of hydrocarbons surely indicate that there can be some forms of life there? Then why aren't we sending probes to it and studying it. I don't think we have the resources, I recently heard that a rocket passed pluto and sent its photographs.
We actually have studied Titan, first with flybys by Pioneer and the Voyagers, and then by the Cassini-Huygens mission.
The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn (a joint NASA-ESA-ASI project), launched in 1997 and still operational today1, studies Saturn and its moons, notably, Titan. The Huygens lander went down to the surface of Titan in 2005, where it sent back much of the data that makes up our current store of knowledge about Titan.
Why aren't we sending more probes to Titan? I can think of a couple reasons off the top of my head:
- It's far away. Cassini-Huygens took seven years to get to Saturn.
- It's expensive. Sure, this is the case with any mission, but sending a landing craft increases costs even more.
- It's not the best choice. Europa, for example, may have liquid water, which would seem to top liquid methane any day.
- NASA has other priorities. Getting humans to Mars - or even back to the Moon - is a more exciting endeavor, at least in the public eye.
1 The Cassini probe is still active and undergoing an extended mission. It continues to do flybys of Titan.