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Space & Planetary Science

Huygens Lands on Titan

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
January 14, 2005

14 January 2005: Images of Titan Begin to Arrive from Huygens

“NASA’s Cassini has begun to relay data received from the ESA Huygens lander as it descended through Titan’s atmosphere. They will be posted here as they become available.”

14 January 2005: Europe reaches new frontier – Huygens lands on Titan

“Today, after its seven-year journey through the Solar System on board the Cassini spacecraft, ESA’s Huygens probe has successfully descended through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, and safely landed on its surface.”

Huygens Home page, ESA
Huygens Information, NASA
Watch NASA TV: 2:45 – 3:15 p.m. – ESA Commentary “Presentation of First 18 Images from Titan” – JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)

14 January 2005: Radio astronomers confirm Huygens entry in the atmosphere of Titan, ESA

“The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, USA, a part of the global network of radio telescopes involved in tracking the Huygens Titan probe, has detected the probe’s ‘carrier’ (tone) signal. The detection occurred between 11:20 and 11:25 CET, shortly after the probe began its parachute descent through Titan’s atmosphere.”

Editor’s note: 10:13 AM EST: Huygens has been on the surface of Titan for several hours and a strong signal continues to be received from the spacecraft by radiotelescopes on Earth.

Signal Travel Time from Titan: 1 hour, 7 minutes

4:51 a.m. EST Huygens Transmitters On
5:16 a.m. EST Pilot Parachute Deploys
5:17 a.m. EST Huygens Begins Transmitting to Cassini
5:32 a.m. EST Drogue Parachute Deploys
7:34 a.m. EST Surface Touchdown
9:44 a.m. EST Cassini Stops Collecting Data
10:24 a.m. EST First Chance for Data Arrival on Earth

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.