Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Huygens landing: one year on

16.01.2006


One year ago this week, on 14 January 2005, ESA’s Huygens probe reached the upper layer of Titan’s atmosphere and landed on the surface after a parachute descent 2 hours and 28 minutes later.

As part of the joint NASA/ESA/ASI mission to Saturn and its moons, the Huygens probe was sent from the Cassini spacecraft to explore Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Titan’s organic chemistry may be like that of the primitive Earth around 4000 million years ago, and may hold clues about how life began on our planet.

Huygens audio- and videocasts



You can also download ESA audio and video content on this topic.

You can listen to the Podcast with an MP3 player, or view the Vodcast using a player such as itunes.


The Huygens mission

The Huygens mission has been an outstanding engineering and scientific success, one of the most complex and scientifically rewarding space missions to date. The touchdown on the surface of Titan marked the farthest a man-made spacecraft has successfully landed away from Earth.

Clear images of the surface of Titan were obtained below 40 km altitude – revealing an extraordinary world, resembling Earth in many respects, especially in meteorology, geomorphology and fluvial activity, but with different ingredients. The images show strong evidence for erosion due to liquid flows, possibly methane.

Huygens enabled studies of the atmosphere and surface, including the first in-situ sampling of the organic chemistry and the aerosols below 150 km. These confirmed the presence of a complex organic chemistry, which reinforces the idea that Titan is a promising place to observe the molecules that may have been the precursors of the building blocks of life on Earth.

Around 260 scientists and up to 10 000 engineers and other professionals from 19 countries overcame cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary differences to achieve an astonishing co-operation.

ESA’s Huygens project scientist, Jean-Pierre Lebreton said, “This mission took two decades to accomplish and pushed the limits of our capabilities, whether scientific, technological or organisational. But the scientists and engineers used their skills and intelligence to overcome technical, political and celestial barriers to their goals.

“In the end, they triumphed spectacularly and, apart from the amazing scientific return, the mission should be an inspiration and a lesson for organisations of all kinds, in all sectors, of how people can work together.”

Jean-Pierre Lebreton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-Huygens/SEMVB6MZCIE_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>