The Huygens probe entered the atmosphere of Titan in January 2005 and descended to its surface. For more details see the Case Study, Chapter 23. (Figure 16.10)

Target Objectives

Prime contractor Launch site, vehicle Launch date Arrival date Landing site co-ordinates End(s) of mission(s) Mass(es)

Payload experiments


• Determine atmospheric composition

• Investigate energy sources for atmospheric chemistry

• Study aerosol properties and cloud physics

• Measure winds and temperatures

• Determine properties of the surface and infer internal structure

• Investigate the upper atmosphere and ionosphere Aerospatiale (now part of Alcatel-Alenia) ETR, Titan IVB (on board Cassini) 15/10/1997 14/01/2005 10.2° S, 192.365° W

14/01/2005, after a descent of 149.5 min and 70min of surface data. Entry mass: 318 kg, —200 kg without entry and descent subsystems

• DISR descent imager/spectral radiometer (Tomasko)

• DWE Doppler wind experiment (Bird)

• GCMS gas-chromatograph mass spectrometer (Niemann)

• HASI Huygens atmospheric-structure instrument (Fulchignoni)

• ACP aerosol collector pyrolyser (Israel)

• SSP surface science package (Zarnecki)

Total mass 48.57 kg plus 2.95 kg balance mass. Radar altimetry data was also returned. Ground-based Doppler and VLBI tracking was also performed The Project Scientist was Jean-Pierre Lebreton

Delivery architecture Delivery by Cassini from Saturn orbit 20 days before Titan encounter. Ejection at 0.35 m s-\ spinning at 7.5 rpm Foam insulation; RHUs LiSO2 Primary batteries

One-way relay via Cassini on two S-band channels; one carrier detected directly on Earth (for Doppler/VLBI) Entry at —6km s-\ flight path angle -64°. Aeroshell (peak load —20 g). Spin stabilised. Pilot chute pulls away back cover; main chute deployment; aeroshell separation; main chute separation and stabilisation chute deployment 4.67 ms-1

Deployment of HASI booms; ejection of DISR cover and GCMS

cap; actuation of ACP aerosol collector Wilson, 1997; Space Sci. Rev. 104(1), 2002; Nature 438(7069), 2005; Lorenz and Mitton, 2002; Harland, 2002; Hassan and Jones, 1997; Spilker, 1997.

Thermal aspects Power aspects Communications architecture EDL architecture

Landing speed(s) Active operations

(deployments, etc.) Key references

Figure 16.10 Huygens.
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