Latest Cassini-Huygens Mission Stories

2005-03-07 18:36:19

JPL -- Experiencing Saturn through a telescope for the first time is a feast for the eyes. NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn is helping people savor the view by coordinating a network of people and telescopes around the globe to help others see the ringed giant. The Cassini Saturn Observation Campaign includes more than 380 volunteers located in 44 U.S. states and 50 countries. During the past year, Saturn Observation Campaign members held nearly 800 events for more than 108,000 people from...

2005-02-20 10:45:00

Arizona -- Cassini-Huygens supplied new evidence about why Titan has an atmosphere, making it unique among all solar system moons, a University of Arizona planetary scientist says. Scientists can infer from Cassini-Huygens results that Titan has ammonia, said Jonathan I. Lunine, an interdisciplinary scientist for the European Space Agency\'s Huygens probe that landed on Titan last month. "I think what\'s clear from the data is that Titan has accreted or acquired significant amounts of...

2005-02-08 16:00:00

JPL -- Colorful new images from the Cassini spacecraft show that Saturn's northern hemisphere has a case of the blues. In the first image, the icy moon Mimas is set against a dazzling and dramatic portrait of Saturn's azure northern hemisphere and the shadows of its rings. A second image shows Saturn's northern polar region is a dim blue. The blue color of Saturn's northern latitudes may to be linked to the apparently cloud-free nature of the upper atmosphere there. A precise understanding...

2005-01-18 12:50:00

Interview with Toby Owens, Part I Astrobiology Magazine -- University of Hawaii astronomer Toby Owens is one of the original planners of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moon Titan. Owens talks about the history of the mission and the reasons scientists were interested in exploring Titan. Astrobiology Magazine (AM): How long have you been working on this Cassini-Huygens mission? Toby Owens (TO): From the beginning, 1982. Well, actually we started thinking about it, discussing...

2005-01-14 07:33:33

As the Huygens probe nears its mission endpoint, the concept of trying to land an instrument on the supercold Earth-like moon, Titan, seems enough to engender wonder. But looking back over its conception at least two decades ago, the probe's trajectory stands out as a gem of planetary exploration. Astrobiology Magazine -- As the Huygens probe begins its descent through Titan's thick haze, few can offer the unique perspective of those who were there in the room when the daring concept for the...

2005-01-08 11:01:52

Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number two in this countdown was the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its Earth-like moon, Titan. Astrobiology Magazine -- Six years ago, then NASA Associate Administrator Wesley Huntress, Jr., stated , "Wherever liquid water and chemical energy are found, there is life. There is no exception." Few opportune years like 2004 have...

2005-01-08 00:35:00

JPL -- Images returned by NASA's Cassini spacecraft cameras during a New Year's Eve flyby of Saturn's moon Iapetus (eye-APP-eh- tuss) show startling surface features that are fueling heated scientific discussions about their origin. One of these features is a long narrow ridge that lies almost exactly on the equator of Iapetus, bisects its entire dark hemisphere and reaches 20 kilometers high (12 miles). It extends over 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) from side to side, along its midsection. No...

2005-01-04 08:16:45

ESA -- On January 14, 2005, while the real Huygens Probe is descending through Titan's atmosphere 1.25 billion kilometres from Earth, an exact engineering copy will be on hand in Darmstadt, Germany, ready to serve as a troubleshooting test bed for spacecraft operations engineers. Joe Wheadon, a 32-year veteran ESA engineer, points to the Huygens Engineering Model (EM) sitting just outside the mission's Dedicated Control Room. "It is a true, one-to-one copy; everything functions just as...

2004-12-22 07:30:00

On Christmas Eve, the Cassini spacecraft will release its wok-shaped Huygens probe on the start of an intimate date with Saturn's largest moon, Titan. On Jan. 14, at 4 a.m. EST, Huygens will enter Titan's methane-rich atmosphere at a speed of 12,000 mph, rapidly decelerate, then deploy its parachute at an altitude above 90 miles. Because methane gas gets depleted quickly, its high concentration on Titan implies a regenerative source. But which one? Astrobiology Magazine -- The Cassini/Huygens...

2004-12-22 01:25:00

JPL -- The highlights of the first year of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn can be broken into two chapters: first, the arrival of the Cassini orbiter at Saturn in June, and second, the release of the Huygens probe on Dec. 24, 2004, on a path toward Titan. The Huygens probe, built and managed by the European Space Agency (ESA), is bolted to Cassini and fed electrical power through an umbilical cable. It has been riding along during the nearly seven-year journey to Saturn largely in a...

Latest Cassini-Huygens Mission Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cassini-Huygens Mission -- The Cassini unmanned space probe is intended to study Saturn and its moons. It was launched on October 15, 1997 and is estimated to enter Saturn's orbit on July 1, 2004. The mission is a joined NASA/ESA project. Cassini's principal objectives are to: -- determine the three-dimensional structure and dynamical behavior of the rings -- determine the composition of the satellite surfaces and the geological history of each object -- determine the nature and...

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