Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the pioneering Huygens mission to Saturn's moon Titan, the first successful landing on an outer Solar System world.
Ten years ago, ESA's Huygens probe entered the history books by descending to the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Humanity's first successful attempt to land a probe on another world in the outer Solar System took place at 13:34 CET (12:34 GMT) on 14 January 2005.
Huygens hitched a ride to the Saturn system during an epic, seven-year voyage attached to NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The final chapter of the interplanetary trek was a 21-day solo cruise toward the haze-shrouded moon. Plunging into Titan's atmosphere, the probe survived the hazardous 2 hour 27 minute descent to touch down safely on Titan's frozen surface.
Huygens continued to transmit back to Earth, mainly via Cassini, for another 72 minutes before its batteries died. The stream of data provided a unique treasure trove of in situ measurements from the planet-sized satellite which scientists are still mining today.
Huygens mission: Ten years at Titan (2015, January 14)
retrieved 16 May 2021
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Huygens mission: Ten years at Titan