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Huygens probe descending toward surface of Titan

Huygens probe descending toward surface of Titan

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Huygens probe at Titan. Artist's impression of the Huygens probe descending toward the surface of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. Huygens is seen here under it's 8.3-metre diameter main parachute, which limits the descent speed to 580 km/h. Huygens will spend 15 minutes under this parachute, making various measurements and observations of the upper atmosphere. After this, the main parachute will be discarded and a smaller parachute deployed, allowing Huygens to descend more rapidly toward an impact on the surface. Huygens is a European project, part of NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and will arrive at Titan on 27 November 2004.

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