News Archive

News Archive

Just over three years from now, ESA's Huygens probe will separate from the NASA Cassini spacecraft and plunge into the atmosphere of Titan, the largest of Saturn's 30 moons. Far from the tender care of controllers on the Earth, every precaution must be taken to ensure that the risks of failure are minimised.
Published: 14 November 2001
On 15 October 1997, the skies over Cape Canaveral were illuminated by the fiery exhaust from a mighty Titan IVB/Centaur rocket. It was the start of one of the great adventures in space exploration a seven-year trek which would end with the NASA Cassini spacecraft in orbit around the planet Saturn and the deployment of ESA's Huygens probe onto the unseen surface of Titan, one of the largest satellites in the Solar System.
Published: 16 October 2001
ESA's Huygens probe came through its 8th in-flight check-out on 20 September with flying colours. Signals sent from the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft when it was almost 1 billion kilometres from home indicated that all is well with the probe's sensitive systems.
Published: 24 September 2001
The European Space Agency and NASA have identified a new mission scenario in order to solve the Huygens radio communications problem and fully recover the scientific return from the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its giant moon Titan.
Published: 2 July 2001
An aluminium mockup of ESA's Huygens probe was last week successfully launched by balloon from an Italian Space Agency base in Sicily. The mockup carried onboard a model of the HASI experiment, one of six experiments currently on its way to Titan.
Published: 21 June 2001
With only four years to go before the Huygens probe arrives at Titan, plans are already being drawn up for possible follow-up missions to Saturn's largest moon.
Published: 6 June 2001
Scientists expect to have a much clearer vision of the surface of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, when the Huygens probe touches down on its surface in 2004. In the meantime, both ground-based telescopes and space observatories are contributing to the growing body of information on the nature of Titan's surface.
Published: 15 May 2001
While Huygens 'sleeps' during most of the seven year trip to Titan, many of the Cassini Orbiter instruments have already started to obtain exciting scientific data. For example, during the gravity-assist manoeuvres aroundVenus and Earth in mid-1999, calibration measurements were made. These are important for understandingthe in-flight performances of the instruments and for preparing for the mission for which they have beendesigned - observations of Saturn and Titan.
Published: 5 April 2001
Seventh in-flight checkout report; 22-23 March 2001
Published: 26 March 2001
The 7th regular in-flight Huygens Probe checkout is scheduled to take place tonight at 21:00 UTC. The purpose of these regular in-flight checkouts is to verify the good health of the Probe and of its scientific payload.
Published: 21 March 2001
A special calibration test is being conducted with the Huygens receivers on board Cassini. This test is the first key milestone of the work performed by the Huygens Recovery Task Force which has been jointly set up by ESA's Science Director and NASA's Science Associate Administrator. The test results will provide a solid engineering basis for the design of new mission scenarios which can recover the Huygens relay link performance.
Published: 2 February 2001
In December 2000, when NASA's Cassini spacecraft will pass by Jupiter, scientists from the Max Planck Institut für Kernphysik in Heidelberg, Germany, will analyse microscopic ash particles from volcanoes on the giant planet's satellite Io. It will be the first in-situ analysis of surface material from a planetary satellite of our solar system other than the Earth's moon.
Published: 9 January 2001
As the year draws to a close international teams of scientists have been enjoying a unique opportunity to make coordinated observations of the largest planet in our Solar System. The NASA/ESA Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter, around 9.7 million kilometres, yesterday morning. NASA's Galileo spacecraft has already been orbiting Jupiter since 1995. Scientists using instruments on both Cassini and Galileo gave a preview at a press conference at JPL of what they are beginning to discover from their joint studies.
Published: 30 December 2000
In February 2000, after the fifth in-flight cruise check-out of the Huygens Probe, a dedicated Probe Relay Link Test was performed, aimed at characterising the performance of the Probe Support Equipment (PSE) under realistic mission conditions. This test revealed some unexplained anomalies in the communication subsystem in terms of data recovery in the presence of Doppler at mission-representative levels.
Published: 19 December 2000
NASA's Cassini spacecraft, approaching Jupiter, is detecting waves inthe thin gas of charged particles that fills the space between the Sunand its planets. The waves are in low radio frequencies, which have beenconverted to sound waves to make the patterns audible.
Published: 17 December 2000
JPL have planned four webcasts to mark Cassini-Huygens' Jupiter Millennium Flyby later this month. These live presentations, hosted by Charles White, JPL Design Hub System Engineer, will discuss the mission and other topics related to the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn.
Published: 5 December 2000
As the Cassini spacecraft starts its approach of Jupiter, the Huygens Probe and all its onboard instruments remain dormant. However, Huygens is not going to be totally passive. The role of Huygens in acting as a sunshield will be crucial in protecting Cassini's instruments from the heat of the Sun.
Published: 21 November 2000
In May this year, when Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn aligned , ESA proposed the Cassini-Huygens contest. The competitors had to answer two questions: How big a telescope would be needed to see Cassini/Huygens in mid-May 2000?At what angle with respect to the Sun-Earth line would you see it?
Published: 20 November 2000
During an extensive in-flight end-to-end telecommunications test conducted in early February 2000, characteristics of ESA's Huygens-Cassini communications link were observed which had not been previously measured. The test was a more extensive calibration at system level than the one which had previously been undertaken.The outcome of the link characteristics would be that not all the data generated during the descent and landing would be decoded by the Huygens receivers on-board Cassini.
Published: 5 October 2000
The sixth Huygens in-flight checkout; 28 July 2000
Published: 29 July 2000
9-Mar-2021 10:08 UT