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Huygens Lands on Saturn's Moon Titan

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

sample mosaic of titan
Huygens view from an altitude of 10km
Huygens rests frozen at -180 degrees Celsius on Titan's landscape, a symbolic finale to the engineering and flight phase of this historic mission. "The ride was bumpier than we thought it would be," said Martin Tomasko, Principal Investigator for the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer (DISR), the instrument that provided Huygens' stunning images among other data. When the probe landed, it was not with a thud, or a splash, but a 'splat'. It landed in Titanian 'mud'.

More: JPL - Huygens Landed with a Splat

Link: USGS - Cassini Mission

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Preps for Summer Launch

Friday, January 7, 2005

The next major step in Mars Exploration is taking shape with preparation of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for launch in just seven months. The orbiter is undergoing environmental tests in facilities at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver, Colo., where its Atlas V launch vehicle is also being prepared. Developments are on schedule for a launch window that begins on Aug. 10. USGS Astrogeology is involved in the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE).

More: JPL - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Status

Link: ASU - High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment