Cassini-Huygens (European Space Agency)

The Huygen probe is scheduled to be released from the Cassini spacecraft to descend toward Titan, Saturn’s largest moon

The Huygens probe measures 2.7 metres across and is built like a shellfish: a hard shell to protect a delicate interior from extreme temperatures experienced during the descent through the atmosphere.

Some more from the Nasa Mission Overview

In December 2004, Cassini will eject the Huygens probe. After its 22-day coast, the cone-shaped probe will descend into Titan’s cloudy atmosphere. Three sets of parachutes will deploy to slow the probe and to provide a stable platform for scientific measurements. Instruments on board will collect information about the atmosphere’s chemical composition and the clouds surrounding Titan. The data will be radioed to the Cassini orbiter, which will then relay the data to Earth.

Presumbly stunt helicopter pilots will not be required to aid in the descent

Much more information, pictures, and links here and here via the Astronomy Picture of the Day

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Rodney Dill
About Rodney Dill
Rodney is an IT Implementation Consultant in the Motor City and working within the Automotive Industry. He contributed to OTB from November 2004 until retiring in July 2017, hosting some 1200 OTB Caption Contests.


  1. Rainer says:

    Meanwhile on this little planet life goes on as usual 🙁 …

  2. Fred Boness says:

    I was ten years old when Sputnik was launched. I have been a sentient being for the entire history of space exploration. What a wonderful time to be alive.