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The Huygens Probe: Science, Payload and Mission Overview

The Huygens Probe: Science, Payload and Mission Overview

Publication date: 01 November 1997

Authors: Lebreton, J.P. & Matson, D.L.

Journal: ESA Bulletin
Volume: 92
Year: 1997

Copyright: ESA

The Huygens Probe is ESA's element of the joint Cassini/Huygens mission with NASA to the Saturnian system. Huygens will be carried on NASA's Cassini Orbiter to Saturn, where it will be released to enter the atmosphere of Titan, the planet's largest satellite. The Probe's primary scientific phase occurs during the 2-2.5 h parachute descent, when the six onboard instruments execute a complex series of measurements to study the atmosphere's chemical and physical properties. Measurements will also be conducted during the 3 min entry phase, and possibly on Titan's surface if Huygens survives impact. This article provides an overview of the mission and a concise description of the payload.

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