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Originally posted by Murcielago
and Richard...The reason they should put more time and money into there cameras is because pictues are the one thing everyone can understand, and since YOU the tax payer is payer for it you should be getting what you want. and i'm no buying the whole "old technology thing", the Mars Viking landers had better pictures then Huygens.
The Descent Imager Spectral Radiometer crams six sub-instruments into a tiny footprint within the Huygens probe. The component instruments on DISR share space on one Charged Coupled Device (CCD, the most common kind of detector in digital cameras) and two linear indium-gallium-arsenic arrays (commonly used for spectrometry). The light that is gathered by DISR's optics is shared among all the instruments and the detectors through an ingenious system of bundled fiber optic ribbons, so DISR has almost no moving parts.
Since there has never been a mission like Huygens, there has never been a camera system like DISR. No spacecraft has ever had to capture and return all of its images within 2.5 hours while descending toward a surface on a spinning, swaying platform. On top of these geometric challenges, DISR was limited to a data rate of 4800 bits per second. Surface missions to Mars had the luxury of months to years to return images. The only other missions that faced anything near the engineering challenges that Huygens faced were the Venera landers, the Soviet missions to the surface of Venus. Those landers returned only one to four images apiece; Huygens returned more than 350.
I would still like to see hi res images of the moon in color, despite the majority of it it white-ish.
Quite simply because 99% of it is complete crap until its been processed and the general public cant really process the data. A lot of the information has been released to the scientific community and you can ask the Huygens team for the data if you want it.
Originally posted by Lampyridae
RichardPrice: on top of all those misssion requirements, let's also not forget that Huygens was designed and built over a decade ago. Pathfinder and co. were landed within a few years of construction finalised.