Acce

The externally mounted ACC-E sensor of the Surface Science Package measured the force as the Huygens probe made contact and settled. The internally located ACC-I sensor measured the 'g' of the deceleration.

The externally mounted ACC-E sensor of the Surface Science Package measured the force as the Huygens probe made contact and settled. The internally located ACC-I sensor measured the 'g' of the deceleration.

provided a source of heat. In addition, the inlet of the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer on the base of the probe was held at +90°C, making Huygens by far the warmest object on Titan.230 There was a significant increase in the methane fraction several minutes after landing, suggesting that heat from the probe was boiling volatiles out of the surface material. The lens of the downward-looking imager was obscured at touchdown because it became embedded. The repeating views from the oblique and side-looking imagers provided enticing hints that the probe was causing material to splutter across the ground. The implication was that occasional heavy methane rain drained from the elevated terrain onto the low-lying ground, where it rapidly soaked into the porous material, which then served as a reservoir for slow evaporation. The volatiles that the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer detected after landing were rich in organics that had not been noted during the descent. Although the signal was dominated by methane, there was ethane and a possibility of benzene and cyanogen (both results of methane and nitrogen chemistry) and carbon dioxide, all of which were indicative of a complex chemistry in the surface material.

It was not immediately realised, but the prolonged transmission following landing provided insight into the wider context. Part of the radio signal was reflected off the ground, and the manner in which this interfered with the line-of-sight beam served to

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