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Thread: Huygens encounter with Titan

  1. #31
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    It is a bad pr move. Although the Mars Express photos are truly spectacular, they could have made more noise about them.
    And with Titan, the delay will probably just create more conspriracy theories again.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift
    Quote Originally Posted by um3k
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    ESA taking the wrong tack on Huygens imagery?:

    Live from another world
    Wow. Will ESA ever get this right?
    I didn't know that and I'm very disappointed. I agree, bad PR move.
    Yes, they complain about the failure of Beagle overshadowing the success of Mars Express, but then they're dispensing Mars Express imagery with an eyedropper.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  3. #33
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    Assuming the ESA gives us the whole picture, once the probe lands, what will we see? This is pure speculation's last chance.

  4. #34
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    Landing on Liquid?
    To Crash or Splash, That is the Question


    After flying 2 billion miles, a probe to Saturn's moon will attempt what has never been tried before. The Huygens' probe will plunge into Titan and its mysterious atmosphere on Jan. 14, 2005. Whether it will crash or splash has become of extreme scientific interest to those watching the controlled collision.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  5. #35
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    Go Huygens!



    The colored lines delineate regions that will be imaged at different resolutions as the probe descends. On each map, the site where Huygens is predicted to land is marked with a yellow dot. This area is in a boundary between dark and bright regions.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    ESA taking the wrong tack on Huygens imagery?:

    Live from another world

    Nothing remotely like the Voyager, Pathfinder, or MER experience is about to repeat when Huygens lands on Titan, according at least to the current plans by the European Space Agency. The incoming raw images for the DISR cameras will only be seen by the scientists directly involved in the project: They will work on them and release them only hours later, after much processing of contrast and resolution. A few glimpses of the DISR images may be shown some hours after they arrived, but the majority of them, plus all the other data collected during the descent, are only to be released during a news briefing the next day. Now it is understandable that the European Space Agency wants to release only the best material, but to deprive the public of the chance to experience the mission as it happens (or happened) is a major blunder.
    This is utterly inexcusable. All data should be released as fast as it can be reasonably done. I can understand some some delay of the data for progmatic concerns such as expense: but I very much doubt that the cost is much of an issue for raw images. (NASA clearly has developed software to post spacecraft images onto websites and I would hope it would be willing to help on that.) I can also understand a short delay of detailed scientific data for reason of an embargo: those who have spent years of their lifes on the project getting a slight head start in analysis so they can publish first instead of researchers who contribute nothing to the production of the data. But again, I can't see that would be very relevant to raw images.

    There are many good reasons for full public release of all data after the coveats above have been covered:

    1) I paid for Huygens since I am a taxpayer. I don't think that it is unreasonable that I get something back for it. And don't tell me that an American I did not pay for a European probe. a) Huygens would not got to Titan without the American Cassini). b) My tax dollars paid for the communication network (and Cassini) needed to communicate with Huygens. c) I would be very surprised if my tax dollars did not make some other contributions to the effort: planning, development of technology, etc.

    2) As the quoted commentator mentioned: public relations is important. Do these guys want more probes in the future? Getting people excited about current stuff is key to having them want more in the future. Letting people feel involved even in a trivial and superfical way helps alot.

    3) The faster the data is public, the faster scientist can work on it especially ones without credentials like maybe one just starting on his career. Even the raw images might give people some ideas what hypotheses to test when the detailed sciencific data is released.

  7. #37
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    NASA TV schedule:

    January 13, Thursday
    10:55 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Huygens Final Status News Conference from ESA - JPL/ESA

    January 14, Friday
    3 a.m. - 3:30 a.m. - Live Coverage and Commentary "Cassini Turns Towards Titan - Interruption of Radio Contact" - JPL/ESA
    5 a.m. - 6 a.m. - Live Coverage and Commentary "The Huygens Probe Enters the Atmosphere of Titan" - JPL/ESA
    7:30 a.m. - 8 a.m. - ESA News Briefing "Mission Status" - JPL/ESA
    8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - ESA Commentary on Huygens Probe Mission - JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)
    10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - ESA Commentary "Cassini Turns Back to Earth - Data Transmission Begins" - JPL/ESA
    11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Huygens Probe News Briefing (will confirm if we are receiving data from Huygens via relay by Cassini)
    1 p.m. - NASA Update with Sean O'Keefe - KSC
    5 p.m. - 6 p.m. - ESA Commentary and "Presentation of First Triplet Image of/data from Titan" - JPL/ESA

    January 15, Saturday
    5 a.m. - 6 a.m. - ESA Final Wrap Up on Huygens Probe Mission - JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)
    12 p.m. - 1 p.m. - ESA News Briefing "Early Look at Science Results" - JPL/ESA
    All times are eastern; add 5 hours to get CET. ESA television schedule is similar except for the unrelated NASA Update.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent
    Why will it be so long between separation and entry?
    Since Huygens has no propulsion system, Cassini must be on the same track as Huygens at the time of release, i.e., a collision course with Titan. The long lead time gives Cassini enough room to change its course so as not to collide with Titan.
    It was my understading that it wasn't released, but pushed at a couple of m/s. Over 3 weeks, that'd be all the difference in trajectory needed to send Cassini on a flyby and Huygens on a fly-into, right?

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by russ_watters
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent
    Why will it be so long between separation and entry?
    Since Huygens has no propulsion system, Cassini must be on the same track as Huygens at the time of release, i.e., a collision course with Titan. The long lead time gives Cassini enough room to change its course so as not to collide with Titan.
    It was my understading that it wasn't released, but pushed at a couple of m/s. Over 3 weeks, that'd be all the difference in trajectory needed to send Cassini on a flyby and Huygens on a fly-into, right?
    It was released and rotated up by springs. Huygens detached from Cassini at a speed of 0.35 m/s.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by russ_watters
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent
    Why will it be so long between separation and entry?
    Since Huygens has no propulsion system, Cassini must be on the same track as Huygens at the time of release, i.e., a collision course with Titan. The long lead time gives Cassini enough room to change its course so as not to collide with Titan.
    It was my understading that it wasn't released, but pushed at a couple of m/s. Over 3 weeks, that'd be all the difference in trajectory needed to send Cassini on a flyby and Huygens on a fly-into, right?
    No, Cassini actually did a burn to change its course.
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  11. #41
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    Huygens Descent Timeline

    2005 January 14

    All times below are Earth received time. Actual spacecraft events occur 67 minutes earlier, as this is the time taken for signals to reach Earth from Cassini.

    10:51 CET 04:51 EST Huygens turns transmitters on

    Although Huygens cannot contact Cassini during the first part of the descent, it turns on its transmitters in preparation.

    11:13 CET 05:13 EST Huygens reaches 'interface altitude'

    The 'interface altitude' is defined as 1270 kilometres above the surface of the moon where entry into Titan's atmosphere takes place.

    11:16 CET 05:16 EST Pilot parachute deploys

    The parachute deploys when Huygens detects that it has slowed to 400 metres per second, at about 180 kilometres above Titan's surface. The pilot parachute is the probe's smallest, only 2.6 metres in diameter. Its sole purpose is to pull off the probe's rear cover, which protected Huygens from the frictional heat of entry. 2.5 seconds after the pilot parachute is deployed, the rear cover is released and the pilot parachute is pulled away. The main parachute, which is 8.3 metres in diameter, unfurls.

    11:17 CET 05:17 EST Huygens begins transmitting to Cassini and front shield released

    At about 160 kilometres above the surface, the front shield is released.

    42 seconds after the pilot parachute is deployed, inlet ports are opened up for the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer and Aerosol Collector Pyrolyser instruments, and booms are extended to expose the Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instruments.

    The Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer will capture its first panorama, and it will continue capturing images and spectral data throughout the descent. The Surface Science Package will also be switched on, measuring atmospheric properties.

    11:32 CET 05:32 EST Main parachute separates and drogue parachute deploys

    The drogue parachute is 3 metres in diameter. At this level in the atmosphere, about 125 metres in altitude, the large main parachute would slow Huygens down so much that the batteries would not last for the entire descent to the surface. The drogue parachute will allow it to descend at the right pace to gather the maximum amount of data.

    11:49 CET 05:49 EST Surface proximity sensor activated

    Until this point, all of Huygens's actions have been based on clock timers. At a height of 60 kilometres, it will be able to detect its own altitude using a pair of radar altimeters, which will be able to measure the exact distance to the surface. The probe will constantly monitor its spin rate and altitude and feed this information to the science instruments. All times after this are approximate.

    11:56 CET 05:56 EST Possible icing effects to probe

    The probe has been designed to withstand possible icing as it descends to 50 kilometres above the surface, through the coldest part of the atmosphere.

    12:57 CET 06:57 EST Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer begins sampling atmosphere

    This is the last of Huygens's instruments to be activated fully. The descent is expected to take 137 minutes in total, plus or minus 15 minutes. Throughout its descent, the spacecraft will continue to spin at a rate of between 1 and 20 rotations per minute, allowing the camera and other instruments to see the entire panorama around the descending spacecraft.

    13:30 CET 07:30 EST Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer lamp turned on

    Close to the surface, Huygens's camera instrument will turn on a light. The light is particularly important for the 'Spectral Radiometer' part of the instrument to determine the composition of Titan's surface accurately.

    13:34 CET 07:34 EST Surface touchdown

    This time may vary by plus or minus 15 minutes depending on how Titan's atmosphere and winds affect Huygens's parachuting descent. Huygens will hit the surface at a speed of 5-6 metres per second. Huygens could land on a hard surface of rock or ice or possibly land on an ethane sea. In either case, Huygens's Surface Science Package is designed to capture every piece of information about the surface that can be determined in the three remaining minutes that Huygens is designed to survive after landing.

    15:44 CET 09:44 EST Cassini stops collecting data

    Huygens's landing site drops below Titan's horizon as seen by Cassini and the orbiter stops collecting data. Cassini will listen for Huygens's signal as long as there is the slightest possibility that it can be detected. Once Huygens's landing site disappears below the horizon, there's no more chance of signal, and Huygens's work is finished.

    16:24 CET 10:24 EST First data received on Earth

    Getting data from Cassini to Earth is now routine, but for the Huygens mission, additional safeguards are put in place to make sure that none of Huygens's data are lost. Giant radio antennas around the world will listen for Cassini as the orbiter relays repeated copies of Huygens data.
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn Poco
    For a preview of the imaging coverage expected from the Huygens' Descent Imager,
    visit:

    http://ciclops.org


    Entry into the atmosphere begins around 11:15 am Friday, January 14, in
    Darmstadt, Germany, the location of the Huygens Operations Center, or
    early morning hours in the States. The first set of images will likely not
    be available for several hours after that ...perhaps mid-morning
    in the western US.

    The event will be covered live on CNN, and a 20-minute segment of `60
    Minutes', to be aired on Sunday, January 16, will be devoted to the Cassini mission, including the Huygens landing.

    Needless to say, this is one occasion you will not want to miss.
    Thanks, Carolyn!
    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

  13. #43
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    It is really strange that we are getting so much data from JPL websites, rather than from ESA. However, I have to note that ESA websites have improved greatly compared to what they were a couple of years ago. Maybe they will keep on improving

    Anyway, lets hope for the best with Huygens. It seems that it had a good start:

    http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-...0HQ3K3E_0.html

    That was areally clever method to estimate the spin rate + velocity

  14. #44
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    Re: Huygens encounter with Titan

    I just sent this email to ESA.

    Hello,

    I think you should immediately reconsider your plan to delay release of Huygens imaging until after the data are processed. I understand this will result in a one day delay in releasing the photos, etc.

    One aspect of the current MER and 1997's Pathfinder missions that really captured the attention of the public was the real-time imagery and reactions by the engineers and scientists that were broadcast over television as these events occurred. This "as it is happening" coverage and real-time release of data created a surge in public interest that did not wane for a long time.

    I think ESA is missing a wonderful opportunity to share its findings with the public as they occur, and to enable the same kind of public interest as with the Mars missions mentioned above. Public interest is a critical factor in getting funds authorized for new missions.

    Finally, as a person who was directly involved in the design and production of components that are currently being used on this mission, I, along with everyone else who are Cassini/Huygens stakeholders, would like to know immediately how things are going and what kind of results our efforts have produced. Even if it's a few raw, unprocessed images, we'll know right away that what we made worked!

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  16. #46
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    Plunge to Methane Lake?

    Anthony Del Genio of the Cassini Imaging team takes a tour of the strange and perplexing world, Titan, where hurricane winds and supercold smog promise some of the most startling imagery in our solar system. The mission to descend towards Titan's surface will draw global attention in a few days, when a tiny space probe will test the limits of parachutes, cameras and communications.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  17. #47
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    Artwork, to help you imagine Huygens' landing on Titan. Click on thumbnails to see larger versions.















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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry
    Carolyn Poco wrote...
    Slight "nit-pick"...it's actually Carolyn Porco.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry
    Carolyn Poco wrote...
    Slight "nit-pick"...it's actually Carolyn Porco.
    Yeah. That's a great surname when you work on an US-Italian project...

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift
    Quote Originally Posted by um3k
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    ESA taking the wrong tack on Huygens imagery?:

    Live from another world
    Wow. Will ESA ever get this right?
    I didn't know that and I'm very disappointed. I agree, bad PR move.
    Yes, they complain about the failure of Beagle overshadowing the success of Mars Express, but then they're dispensing Mars Express imagery with an eyedropper.
    I had hoped that ESA woud have learned from the disaster they made of the spectacular Giotto encounter - a roomful of TV crews graciously allowed to point cameras through a window at the operations team with no on-the-fly information from the project. I was flipping back and forth among BBC plus Dutch and German networks, none getting anything better. The first hint of an interruption from hitting a dust particle was noting the operators standing in front of a monitor scratching their heads. I figure ESA thinks their PR target is rather different from NASA's, but in today's interconnected world this may not be so.

    There is another echo of Giotto as well. The Halley Multicolour Camera team allowed near-real-time image release only in a strange pseudocolor palette, quite difficult to interpret for solid objects, and was pretty clear that they did this to reduce the chance of anyone else seeing something interesting in the data before they did. I'm guessing that, at least until we see images from low altitude, Titan will be just as difficult to interpret - the biggest chunk of such alien and solid real estate left in the Solar System (sort of what Carolyn Porco said).

  21. #51
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    To come back to an earlier post: I seem to remember that one of the reasons the battery life of Huygens is restricted (apart from all the valid reasons already mentioned) is because it has very bright lights to get a bit of vision through the 'fog' of Titan. Now try to let your lights on, and see how long your car battery lasts then...

    Huygens and Deep impact have gotten some coverage in my newspaper a well (way too little seeing the importance of them, but it's better than nothing), but they have again succeeded in mixing astrologists and astronomers... it can not be that difficult to find one journalist for a paper who knows the basics of most sciences, no?

  22. #52
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    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...13titan13.html

    For UA profs, 17-year dream is at hand
    Voyage to Saturn's moon Titan comes down to last 30 minutes

  23. #53
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    I seem to remember that one of the reasons the battery life of Huygens is restricted (apart from all the valid reasons already mentioned)
    Actually, there is enough battery power on Huygens. Huygens has 5 batteries that provide a total of 2059 Wh power.

    The nominal mission requires only 972 Wh and a "worst case scenario" that has been calculated corresponds to 1167 Wh.

    They also consider a 400 Wh for the "preheating" of the probe: I think the probe will be switched on 4 hours before the original plan. This is done to shift the comm frequency in a way to even reduce the doppler problem. The reference frequency is dependent on the temperature of clock oscillators that generate it.

    So, even if you apply the additional 400 Wh, there is still a lot left. Huygens was planned with a lot of redundancy.

    ...is because it has very bright lights to get a bit of vision through the 'fog' of Titan. Now try to let your lights on, and see how long your car battery lasts then...
    The surface lamp of the DISR experiment (imager) is not used to brighten the terrain to get a better view. It will be used only the last seconds of descent: it will be turned on ~100m above the surface to perform simple active remote sensing experiments. This means, that the scientists will measure the characterisitics of the reflected light (of known properties) coming from the surface, and therefore get some information about the material of the surface.

    So, actually, the lamp is not so "power consuming"

  24. #54
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    Updated NASA TV schedule:

    January 14, Friday
    3 a.m. - 3:30 a.m. - Live Coverage and Commentary "Cassini Turns Towards Titan - Interruption of Radio Contact" - JPL/ESA
    5 a.m. - 6 a.m. - Live Coverage and Commentary "The Huygens Probe Enters the Atmosphere of Titan" - JPL/ESA
    7:30 a.m. - 8 a.m. - ESA News Briefing "Mission Status" - JPL/ESA
    8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - ESA Commentary on Huygens Probe Mission - JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)
    10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - ESA Commentary "Cassini Turns Back to Earth - Data Transmission Begins" - JPL/ESA
    10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - JPL Commentary - JPL (Mission Coverage)
    11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Huygens Probe News Briefing (will confirm if we are receiving data from Huygens via relay by Cassini)
    12 - 12:30 p.m. - JPL Commentary - JPL (Mission Coverage)
    1 p.m. - NASA Update with Sean O'Keefe - KSC
    2:45 - 3:15 p.m. - ESA Commentary "Presentation of First 18 Images from Titan" - JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)
    5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - ESA Commentary and "Additional Images from Tital & B-Roll" - JPL/ESA
    5:30 - 6 p.m. - JPL Commentary - JPL (Mission Coverage)

    January 15, Saturday
    5 a.m. - 6 a.m. - ESA Final Wrap Up on Huygens Probe Mission - JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)
    12 p.m. - 1 p.m. - ESA News Briefing "Early Look at Science Results" - JPL/ESA

  25. #55
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    What time zone is this in, please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kullat Nunu
    Updated NASA TV schedule:

    January 14, Friday
    3 a.m. - 3:30 a.m. - Live Coverage and Commentary "Cassini Turns Towards Titan - Interruption of Radio Contact" - JPL/ESA
    5 a.m. - 6 a.m. - Live Coverage and Commentary "The Huygens Probe Enters the Atmosphere of Titan" - JPL/ESA
    7:30 a.m. - 8 a.m. - ESA News Briefing "Mission Status" - JPL/ESA
    8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - ESA Commentary on Huygens Probe Mission - JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)
    10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - ESA Commentary "Cassini Turns Back to Earth - Data Transmission Begins" - JPL/ESA
    10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - JPL Commentary - JPL (Mission Coverage)
    11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Huygens Probe News Briefing (will confirm if we are receiving data from Huygens via relay by Cassini)
    12 - 12:30 p.m. - JPL Commentary - JPL (Mission Coverage)
    1 p.m. - NASA Update with Sean O'Keefe - KSC
    2:45 - 3:15 p.m. - ESA Commentary "Presentation of First 18 Images from Titan" - JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)
    5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - ESA Commentary and "Additional Images from Tital & B-Roll" - JPL/ESA
    5:30 - 6 p.m. - JPL Commentary - JPL (Mission Coverage)

    January 15, Saturday
    5 a.m. - 6 a.m. - ESA Final Wrap Up on Huygens Probe Mission - JPL/ESA (Mission Coverage)
    12 p.m. - 1 p.m. - ESA News Briefing "Early Look at Science Results" - JPL/ESA

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkinpie
    What time zone is this in, please?
    Eastern.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drakheim
    Quote Originally Posted by pumpkinpie
    What time zone is this in, please?
    Eastern.
    =D> Yay. Just wanted to be sure. Thanks.

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    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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    ...and when on-line, its always good to check here periodically.

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    Re: Huygens encounter with Titan

    Three hours to the atmospheric descent phase.

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