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Success! Huygens Probe Touches Down on Titan (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 11:58 AM
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After a 7 year flight, the Huygen’s probe has finally landed on Titan making it our sixth landing thus far on a major body in the solar system. Its data will have tremendous value, as Titan is believed to have an atmosphere resembling that of early Earth, possibly with primordial life.
 



www.msnbc.msn.com
We are the first visitors of Titan," the European Space Agency's director general, Jean-Jacques Dordain, declared at mission control in Darmstadt.

Scientists hope the Huygens probe will provide the first-ever close look at Titan's hydrocarbon-rich surface — an environment they believe is much like the one that gave rise to life on Earth billions of years ago.

The parachute-equipped lander flashed a beacon signal back to Earth during its two-hour-plus descent through Titan's hazy atmosphere, and continued transmitting for more than two hours after touchdown time.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Descent:
-As Titan decelerated into the atmosphere of Titan from 13,000 mph to 1,100 mph in a mere 3 minutes, it prepared to take pictures of the atmosphere and surface 110 miles below.
-At 28 miles above the surface at the beginning of the Tropopause, the probe took 250 “triplet images” of Titan’s surface with its three cameras which will be made into a mosaic of 20 pictures.
-After a quick relay of information at 12 miles, the probe took spectral images from 3 to 6 miles to determine the color and composition of the surface.

I remember hearing about the launch 7 years ago, and this success is a great relief to myself and I’m sure many others who have waited for this historic landing. The implications are huge as the information may shed light on the composition of the atmosphere and surface, confirm or deny the existence of liquid methane lakes thought to exist, and give valuable information about the conditions of early earth.


Related News Links:
saturn.jpl.nasa.gov
www.sciencedaily.com

[edit on 14-1-2005 by zhangmaster]

[edit on 14-1-2005 by zhangmaster]




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