DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Huygens probe at Titan. Artist's impression of the Huygens probe entering the atmosphere of Titan, largest moon of Saturn. Huygens has been released from NASA's Cassini spacecraft (at top). Huygens will enter Titan's atmosphere of nitrogen and methane, making various atmospheric measurements while it decends. The probe will take about three minutes to slow down to 1440 km/h to allow the opening of a main parachute. On descent the probe, protected by a heat shield, reaches temperatures of up to 12,000 Celsius. Huygens is a European project, part of the Cassini mission to explore Saturn and its moons. Cassini is due for launch in 1997 and will arrive at Titan on 27 November 2004.
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