Author Topic: ESA - Huygens updates  (Read 3578 times)

Offline jacqmans

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ESA - Huygens updates
« on: 01/12/2007 10:18 PM »
Two years ago, planetary scientists across the world watched as Europe and the US did something amazing. The Huygens descent module drifted down through the hazy atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, beaming its data back to Earth via the Cassini mothership. Today, Huygens's data are still continuing to surprise researchers.

Full story:
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM7QJRMTWE_index_0.html
« Last Edit: 01/14/2010 07:46 PM by jacqmans »

Offline jacqmans

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ESA - Huygens updates
« Reply #1 on: 01/14/2010 07:45 PM »
Celebrating the fifth anniversary of Huygens' Titan touchdown
 
13 January 2010
Five years ago today, ESA's Huygens probe descended to the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Today planetary scientists from around the world have gathered in Barcelona to discuss the legacy of Huygens and to consider future Titan exploration missions.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMDU4MJ74G_index_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Huygens updates
« Reply #2 on: 01/14/2010 07:46 PM »
Land Ho! Huygens Plunged to Titan Surface 5 Years Ago

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=2448&cid=feature_2448

The Huygens probe parachuted down to the surface of Saturn's haze-shrouded moon Titan exactly five years ago on Jan. 14, 2005, providing data that scientists on NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn are still building upon today.

"Huygens has gathered critical on-the-scene data on the atmosphere and surface of Titan, providing valuable groundtruth to Cassini's ongoing investigations," said Bob Pappalardo, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The Huygens probe, built and managed by the European Space Agency, was bolted to Cassini and rode along during its nearly seven-year journey to Saturn. Huygens' descent marked mankind's first and only attempt to land a probe on another world in the outer solar system.

Huygens transmitted data for more than four hours, as it plunged through Titan's hazy atmosphere and landed near a region now known as Adiri. Atmospheric density measurements from Huygens have helped engineers refine calculations for how low Cassini can fly through the moon's thick atmosphere.

Huygens captured the most attention for providing the first view from inside Titan's atmosphere and on its surface. The pictures of drainage channels and pebble-sized ice blocks surprised scientists with the extent of the moon's similarity to Earth. They showed evidence of erosion from methane and ethane rain.

"It was eerie," said Jonathan Lunine, an interdisciplinary Cassini scientist at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata, and University of Arizona, Tucson, and was with the Huygens camera team five years ago as they combed through the images coming down. "We saw bright hills above a dark plain, a weird combination of light and dark. It was like seeing a landscape out of Dante."

Combining these images with detections of methane and other gasses emanating from the surface, scientists came to believe Titan had a hydrologic cycle similar to Earth's, though Titan's cycle depends on methane and ethane rather than water. Titan is the only other body in the solar system other than Earth believed to have an active hydrologic cycle.

Huygens also gave scientists an opportunity to make electric field measurements from the atmosphere and surface, revealing a signature consistent with a water-and-ammonia ocean under an icy crust.

While the Huygens probe itself remains inactive on the Titan surface, insights inspired by the probe continue and ESA has convened a conference this week to extend the discussion, said Jean-Pierre Lebreton, Huygens Project Scientist for ESA.

"Huygens was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime mission," he said. "But we still have a lot to learn and I hope it will provide guidance for future missions to Titan."

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. Huygens data was sent to NASA's Cassini spacecraft, and was recorded and relayed to Earth by NASA's Deep Space Network. JPL also manages the Deep Space Network.

Jia-Rui C. Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
[email protected]



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Online Robotbeat

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Re: ESA - Huygens updates
« Reply #3 on: 01/15/2010 03:41 PM »
The Huygens probe was great. My only wish is that they had put a servo on the camera (or even put a movable mirror in the field of view of the camera that would move periodically to cover more of the landing site) to see more than one picture on the surface...
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline catdlr

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Re: ESA - Huygens updates
« Reply #4 on: 10/11/2012 06:38 PM »
News feature: 2012-317                                                                     Oct. 11, 2012

Bounce, Skid, Wobble: How Huygens Landed on Titan

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-317&cid=release_2012-317

The European Space Agency's Huygens probe, ferried to Saturn's moon Titan by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, bounced, slid and wobbled its way to rest in the 10 seconds after touching down on Titan in January 2005, a new analysis reveals. The moon's surface is more complex than previously thought.

Scientists reconstructed the chain of events by analyzing data from a variety of instruments that were active during the impact, in particular changes in the acceleration. The instrument data were compared with results from computer simulations and a drop test using a model of Huygens designed to replicate the landing.

The analysis reveals that, on first contact with Titan's surface, Huygens made a dent 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) deep, before bouncing out onto a flat surface. The Huygens probe, which had a mass of about 400 pounds (200 kilograms), hit the ground with an impact speed that was similar to dropping a ball on Earth from a height of about 3 feet (one meter). The probe, tilted by about 10 degrees in the direction of motion, then slid 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 centimeters) across the surface. It slowed due to friction with the surface and, upon coming to its final resting place, wobbled back and forth five times. Each wobble was about half as large as the previous one. Huygens' sensors continued to detect small vibrations for another two seconds, until motion subsided nearly 10 seconds after touchdown.

"A spike in the acceleration data suggests that during the first wobble, the probe likely encountered a pebble protruding by around an inch [2 centimeters] from the surface of Titan, and may have even pushed it into the ground, suggesting that the surface had a consistency of soft, damp sand," said Stefan Schröder of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, lead author of the paper reporting the results in the journal Planetary and Space Science.

Previous work measured the firmness of Titan's surface during the Huygens impact. Those results found the surface to be quite soft. The new work goes one step farther to demonstrate that if something put little pressure on the surface, the surface was hard, but if an object put more pressure on the surface, it sank in significantly.

"It is like snow that has been frozen on top," said Erich Karkoschka, a co-author at the University of Arizona, Tucson. "If you walk carefully, you can walk as on a solid surface, but if you step on the snow a little too hard, you break in very deeply."

Had the probe impacted a wet, mud-like substance, its instruments would have recorded a "splat" with no further indication of bouncing or sliding. The surface must have therefore been soft enough to allow the probe to make a sizeable depression, but hard enough to support Huygens rocking back and forth.

"We also see in the Huygens landing data evidence of a 'fluffy' dust-like material - most likely organic aerosols that are known to drizzle out of the Titan atmosphere - being thrown up into the atmosphere and suspended there for around four seconds after the impact," said Schröder.

Since the dust was easily lifted, it was most likely dry, suggesting that there had not been any rain of liquid ethane or methane for some time prior to the landing.

"This study takes us back to the historical moment of Huygens touching down on the most remote alien world ever visited by a landing probe," added ESA's Cassini-Huygens project scientist, Nicolas Altobelli. "Huygens data, even years after mission completion, are providing us with a new dynamical 'feeling' for these crucial first seconds of landing."

A new animation of the landing can be seen here: http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMJP13S18H_index_0.html.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.

Jia-Rui C. Cook 818-354-0850
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
[email protected]

Markus Bauer 011-31-71-565-6799
European Space Agency, Noordwijk, the Netherlands
[email protected]

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Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

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Re: ESA - Huygens updates
« Reply #5 on: 01/13/2017 05:51 AM »
bump....

Titan Touchdown

Published on Jan 11, 2017
On Jan. 14, 2005, ESA's Huygens probe made its descent to the surface of Saturn's hazy moon, Titan. Carried to Saturn by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, Huygens made the most distant landing ever on another world, and the only landing on a body in the outer solar system. This video uses actual images taken by the probe during its two-and-a-half hour fall under its parachutes.

Huygens was a signature achievement of the international Cassini-Huygens mission, which will conclude on Sept. 15, 2017, when Cassini plunges into Saturn's atmosphere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msiLWxDayuA?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

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