Huygens replica, 2005
The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moon Titan is one of the most ambitious space projects ever undertaken, with more than four thousand people around the world involved. It was launched in 1997 and reached Saturn in 2004 after a 3.2-billion-kilometre journey. Cassini went into orbit around Saturn while the Huygens lander descended through Titan’s atmosphere, which is thought to be similar to that of the very early Earth.
The display shows how Huygens looked touching down on Titan, with the last of its three parachutes deployed to help it touch down safely.
The first man-made object to touch the surface was a small instrument, like one displayed nearby, protruding from the underside of Huygens. It measured how much the lander slowed down on impact and its findings suggested that part of Titan’s surface is like frosty, crumbly sand.
- Currently on display in:
- Exploring Space
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