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Huygens probe at touchdown on Titan

Huygens probe at touchdown on Titan

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Huygens probe at Titan. Artist's impression of the Huygens probe just above the surface of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. The surface is shown covered in organic ices and a lake of liquid ethane. After entering the atmosphere Huygens will descend under a large main parachute to allow upper atmosphere measurements. This will then be discarded, and Huygens will drop more rapidly under this 3-metre secondary parachute to the surface. The descent will take about 2 1/2 hours, and Huygens will hit the surface at a speed of 7 metres per second. Huygens is a European project, part of NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and will arrive at Titan on 27 November 2004.

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