Eight years ago on January 14, 2005, a European probe dropped onto Saturn’s largest moon – Titan. Until now, we didn’t know, how the mission’s unmanned spacecraft Huygens landed on Titan. Did Huygens land on Titan just like the way Curiosity landed on Mars? Or did the spacecraft use other techniques for landing? Thanks to a recent animated video that demonstrates how the spacecraft really landed on Titan.
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) unmanned 400-pound probe Huygens was accompanied by Cassini spacecraft that was launched in 1997. Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004, and started to study Saturn and its many moons. However, at the end of December 2004, Cassini released Huygens and three weeks later (on January 14, 2005), Huygens landed on Titan’s surface. At then, no video of this historic landing was recorded. Recently, ESA has created an animated video of that historic landing using Huygens landing data. The duration of Huygens’ landing video is 1 minute and 41 seconds. The video shows the touchdown of Huygens from a variety of angles. Have a look.
Image Courtesy: European Space Agency