EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / AEROSPATIALE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / AEROSPATIALE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Huygens probe preparations. This European Space Agency probe (1.3 metres wide, 350 kilograms) was launched from Earth in 1997 as part of the Cassini-Huygens mission. After separating from NASA's Cassini orbiter, Huygens entered the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, in January 2005, descending to the surface by parachute. Data on the atmosphere and surface from its six instruments, were relayed by Cassini to Earth. Here, Huygens is seen without its heat shield and thermal cover, at an early stage of the pre-launch integration process. Construction was by the French Aerospatiale company. Integration took place in Germany.
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