View Full Version : Discussion: Getting Closer to Saturn

2004-Jan-16, 05:53 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Cassini spacecraft is on track to reach Saturn in summer 2004. Before it reaches Saturn, however, the spacecraft will release a tiny probe called Huygens that will parachute into Titan, Saturn's largest moon, to give scientists an idea of what's underneath those thick clouds. Astronomers think that the environment on Titan is very similar to primordial conditions here on planet Earth billions of years ago. Huygens will take more than a thousand pictures and countless samples as it travels down to the surface in January 2005.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Jan-17, 02:19 AM
Yay :lol: Dinosaur came back to life LOL Well I mean the sea monster ^^

2004-Jan-17, 04:36 AM
The invisible ink is working fraser...:blink:

2004-Jan-17, 05:43 AM
Oops. :-) I've fixed it.

2004-Jan-17, 07:17 AM
Ahhh thats better fraser!

It is truly exciting to be so near the cusp of once and for all understanding Titan and Saturn itself.

2004-Jan-17, 07:34 AM
Now this is a mission I'm really interested in. Ah, Saturn, my favorite. I just wish mission's like this were as popular as the Mars missions.

2004-Jan-18, 05:50 PM
I went to the JPL website for details on the mission specifics and noted that the Heugins probe won't depart until Cassini has made an initial eliptical insertion orbit, about 6 months after arrival. You can check it out for yourself. It might be a good idea too. If Cassini gets a good pass at Titan, it can make some very precise measurments and use that to fine-tune the probe's drop . . .

(I'm not an expert, just planet crazy)
Dan Bennett, Olympia WA

2004-Jan-18, 07:37 PM
Cassini is built by NASA, Huygens probe by ESA :unsure:
beagle2 failed to land and radio? it's first time for us, Titan. I hope it does nt fail or i become very unhappy!

2004-Jan-19, 12:28 AM
That's an interesting point... *but* Beagle2 is basically a British venture (albeit launched by the ESA) whose headquarters was just a few miles away from where I am now, at work. The point is, the team that made Beagle didn't have anything to do with Huygens. Or at least, not that I know of!

2005-Oct-27, 06:45 AM
Of course, nothing to do with Huygens, which was of course a ripping success! Does anyone know how long Cassini is remaining operationally able whilst in the Saturnian system? And at it's conclusion is it to plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn?