UK scientists and industrialists involved in the NASA, ESA, ASI Cassini-Huygens space mission are eagerly awaiting the data to be received when the spacecraft makes its closest fly-by of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, on 26th October.
At the time of the closest approach, which is scheduled to be at 5.44 pm BST (9.44 am PDT), the spacecraft will travel a mere 1200km (745 miles) above the surface of the moon at a speed of 6.1 km per second. Confirmation that the flyby has been successful and that all the data have been received will not take place until 2.30 a.m BST, 27th Oct (6.30 pm PDT 26thOct).
This close flyby will be looking at all aspects of Titan, which although it is the second largest moon in the solar system, after Jupiter’s Ganymede, we know relatively little about. The instruments on board Cassini will be looking at the moon’s interior structure, surface characteristics, atmospheric properties and interactions with Saturn’s magnetosphere.
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