This is what an artist thinks Huygens looks like near Titan. This picture shows Cassini (top middle), Huygens (left side), Saturn (right side), and the moon Titan (lower left).
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy NASA.
Huygens probe on its way to Titan
News story originally written on December 30, 2004
A spacecraft named Cassini is orbiting
around the planet Saturn right now.
Cassini carried another, smaller robot space probe with it on its long
trip from Earth. The smaller probe is named Huygens. Huygens will land
on Titan, which is Saturn's biggest moon.
Cassini let go of the Huygens probe on December
24, 2004. The probe will fly through space by itself for about three weeks. It
will get to Titan on January 14, 2005. Parachutes on the probe will lower it
through Titan's atmosphere.
After that, the probe will land on Titan. We don't know what the surface of
Titan is like. Huygens may land on solid ground, or it might splash down into
a lake of liquid natural gas. It may even plop down into a pile of snow made
of the chemical methane!
The Huygens probe will measure the atmosphere of Titan. It will also take
pictures. If the probe works, it will give us our first look at the surface of
a moon that nobody has ever seen before!
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