Latest Huygens probe Stories
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.
During its descent towards the surface of Saturn's moon Titan, the Huygens probe will image the landscape surrounding its landing target. Zooming in on what lies underneath the thick haze can offer only surprises since little is known about the basic liquid, solid or swampy composition.
For nearly a decade, scientists around the world have been waiting patiently for the European Space Agency's Huygens probe to arrive at its destination: Saturn's giant moon Titan. Now that wait is over. Huygens has descended down through Titan's thick shroud of fog and has successfully landed on Titan.
Anthony Del Genio of the Cassini Imaging team takes a tour of the strange and perplexing world, Titan, where hurricane winds and supercold smog promise some of the most startling imagery in our solar system. The mission to descend towards Titan's surface will draw global attention, when a tiny space probe will test the limits of parachutes, cameras and communications.
Timeline of expected events during the Huygens descent to the surface of Titan on January 14, 2005.
When the sun sets on Thursday, January 13th, a golden star will rise in the east. Soaring overhead at midnight, it will be up all night long, beautiful and eye-catching. That "star" is Saturn. January 13th is a special date for Saturn because that's when it is closest to Earth.
After flying 2 billion miles, a probe to Saturn's moon will attempt what has never been tried before. The Huygens' probe will plunge into Titan and its mysterious atmosphere on Jan. 14, 2005. Whether it will crash or splash has become of extreme scientific interest to those watching the controlled collision.
On Christmas Day 2004, the Cassini spacecraft flawlessly released ESAâ€™s Huygens probe, passing another challenging milestone for Cassini-Huygens mission. But, with no telemetry data from Huygens, how do we know the separation went well?
The Huygens DCR at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany, was calm yesterday as engineers count the minutes to the probe's entry into Titan's atmosphere, due 14 January 2005 at approximately 10:07 CET. Huygens is coasting in dormant mode after its release from Cassini last month.
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.
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...
Saturn's moon Titan -- Titan is the planet Saturn's largest moon. It is larger than either of the planets Mercury or Pluto and is the second-largest moon in the solar system after Ganymede (it was originally thought to be slightly larger than Ganymede, but recent observations have shown that its thick atmosphere caused overestimation of its diameter). Titan was discovered on March 25, 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christian Huygens, making it one of the first non-terrestrial moons to be...
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