Mission to titanium

The supposed Hollish Trabant ware of the ESA state probe Huygens a picture book departing and a dream landing — the first pictures show a foreign world, on the water ice exists and have hydrocarbons that say that

She pushed the trust "titanic" Curtain to the side and put a perfect landing, switched fliby bit and bytes: total about 11 MB. The ESA landing ride Huygens surprised everyone, she sparked nearly four hours of scientific data about the earth. More than 350 pictures are available so far, of which the first funf has now been published. On them a stranger present, partly marshahnliche world. Today, as part of a coarse press conference, the first tangible results were presented at the ESOC in Darmstadt (see also Huygens Countdown: The Day After.

Huygens took this photo immediately in front of the touchdown. To see are stones or ice bloc. The structures have a coarse between 4 and 15 centimeters. The surface is a bit darker than expected. Goods This image in a red color, was smooth "Mars" tap. Image: ESA / NASA / University of Arizona

It may be placant, a bit crushy and declare a little too enthusiastically — but on Friday, the 14. January 2005, was briefly after 11.00 clock mez a new page in the book of space history opened. No more: a new chapter spaces history written. 1.5 billion kilometers from the earth, exactly 15 minutes after three independent timers woke up the probe out of their deep sleep, the so far more spectacular landing of a room probe on a foreign world inevitably took their high point.

Exceeded the lunar rubicon

As at point 11.13 o’clock mez the socket capsule at a speed of 20.000 Hourly kilometers fully automatic, without control engine, in the steep angle in 1270 kilometers high in the dense atmosphere of the mysterious saturn moon immersed, huygens override the lunar rubicon on never playing.

Already four minutes after entering the gas hull of the trabant, Huygens sent the first data packet to Cassini. After five minutes, the density of nitrogen atmosphere slowed down the foreign intruder to around 1080 km / h before a smaller parachute (2.5 m), which moved away the upper heat protection plate and space for the first main case, slowed down the dense nitrogen atmosphere. (8.3 m) enabled. Shortly after the second Huygens parachute slowed down to 3660 km / h, the rough heat protection plate adopted. Already 42.5 seconds later, the instruments of the Landers worked in full swing. A third parachute extends the sink flight of the immersion probe to two and a half hours.

60-degree panorama recording of 14.01.05. The white stripes in the picture may be fog structures consisting of methane. Wind speed at the time of recording was around the 6 to 7 meters per second. Recording was made from a high of eight 8 kilometers. The resolution also exceeds 20 meters per pixel. Image: ESA / NASA / University of Arizona

During this time, Huygens hovered with non-working sensors of the surface of the Titanium and analyzed the environment and chemical composition of the hazy atmosphere, collected data on temperature, air prere, wind direction, wind strong, electrical properties, cloud density and much more. After breaking up the cloud cover, almost in the last phase of descent, two camera eyes took the so far unknown surface of the sky corpers visual and shot the first pictures. Immediately the probe computer sparked data and images on the Cassini mother ship, which cached four times four times and then sent to the earth. At 13.34 o’clock mez landed the probe on rocky terrain. In the somewhat unanswered, although one of nine sensors, which was ready for use after 3.5 minutes.

Better than expected

That this wish scenario of the ESA has been picked up by the realitat still smoothly, no researcher had been seriously held for possibly. But the ESA probe not only laid a picture-baked landing, but even managed to stay on the air for almost four hours. It was the first time in the history of space that an earthly flight body with the surface of a foreign world in the Auberen solar system has taken clothfool. And it was at the same time the first time that astronomers was a precise look behind the static prassene dense orange-brown cloud carpet of the "mystical" Saturnmonds could throw. That yesterday the nerves of the more than those involved worldwide 260 scientists of NASA and ESA project teams and the more than 300 journalists who were tried to crush the events in the European Control Center ESOC in Darmstadt, was in the nature of the event.

Titan City: This picture was taken by Huygens yesterday. The scene is reminiscent of a city from afar photographed city. The picture was taken from a high of eight kilometers. The resolution is 20 meters per pixel. Image: ESA / NASA / University of Arizona

In memory of the missing Mars-Lander Beagle-2 was the nervousstate on the pages of the European spacecary agency ESA lane. Finally, the $ 300 million expensive Huygens measuring apparatus is the main contribution of ESA to the Cassini mission.

Fleocating data flow

In each phase of the flight of Cassini on the horizon of the titanium, the ESA probe snuggished the NASA mother ship with a flood of data. The incoming data were collected first from the ground station network of NASA for InterplaneaTare missions. Then the material immediately went to the ESOC, where the scientific evaluation is in full swing. "All Huygens scientists are excited. The long wait was worth it", said the Huygens mission leader of the ESA, Jean-Pierre Lebreton yesterday. Today he fugged: "I am very happy to present you the data. We can now make us a closer picture of the titanium. Nevertheless, we have to work hard in the next few months."

In fact, everything worked like the lace. The first confirmation of the successful sink flight of the Huygens-Lander took place yesterday at 11.25 o’clock Mez by the Green Bank Telescope in the US state of West Virginia. After all, the radio signal alone used for the simple route Earth-Titan 84 minutes to prevent the 1.5 billion kilometer route.

The ESA researchers suspect that in this picture the area can be seen, landed on the Huygens. Many interpretations are not yet mature. Only the comparison of more than 350 photos taken and accurate post-processing of the material will help the researcher to find the right answers. Image: ESA / NASA / University of Arizona

The 100 meter antenna registered a weak but unique radio signal. Although Huygens was quite quite open during the two-hour landing phase, the 1.6 diameter whisked the amount of rough vehicle the data desire for his mother probe Cassini, which — acts as a relay station — the information on the earth forwarded, where a total of 18 radio telescopes were striking, to capture each bit of the information collected. That the earthly antennas were not directed directly to Huygens, was because the ESA probe had no receptionist on board and therefore only send data on one side, but could not receive orders. Since Huygens did not have their own data storage system, it could not receive and store the information, but only send — and with the modest transmission speed of 1 to 8 kbit / sec.

Congratulations and joy pure

Nevertheless, it has the latest data of the six Huygens experiments, which are on today at 11.00 clock mez officially presented in the intestinal day ESOC control center held press conference, in itself. They show the picture of a dynamic moon. Especially done by the previous results ESA Science Director Professional. David Southwood. "Yesterday I was now and from. Huygens is the highlight of the Cassini mission. We are glad that our US friends have left us the precaution. It’s wonderful for me! I love the pictures, but there will be much more!"

ESA General Director Jean Jacques Dordain was also enthusiastic: "This is a great performance for Europe and its American partners in the ambitious endeavor to explore the system of Saturn." At the moment, Titan has always been the goal in the system of the Saturn, in which the need is detected directly at a probe. You will now have to be patient and looking forward to waiting for the next scientific results.

One of the first pictures that Huygens made during his successful sink flux. "Shot" it was made of a high of 16.2 kilometers — with a resolution of 40 meters per pixel. Image: ESA / NASA / University of Arizona

During the NASA science director Alphonso V. Diaz of one "historical event" spoke, called Leonid Gurvits from "Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry" (Jive the previous result "fantastic". The director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Charles Elachi congratulated Europe’s success. "I am impressed and very impressed by the pictures". Similarly, Bob Mitchell swarmed his sign Cassini Program Manager: "I’m very satisfied. When I saw the pictures, I said "Wow! These are pictures that you have never seen before." NASA boss Sean O’Keefe, who will soon divide from office, congratulated the Europe "The Descent Through Titan’s Atmosphere and Down To ITS Surface Appeared to Be Perfect", So his o-tone. "WE Congratulate ESA for their Spectacular Success. We’re Very Proud of the Cassini-Huygens Teams That Helped to Make This Both An Engineering and Scientific Victory, And WE Appreciate The Dedication and Support From Our International Partners."

An instrument fell out

"Brilliant data" also supplied the "Surface Science Package Instrument" (SSP), like her conductor, John Zarnecki, emphasized. This experiment alone collected data for 3 hours and 37 minutes. "We had no data stream for three and a half minutes. After that, we had no data loss anymore."

Unfortunately, the researchers had to take a loss: the Doppler Wind Experiment (DWE), during their Huygens descent u.a. The winds of Titan should study, but has set as expected as expected its services. What leads to the failure requires still the clarification. It is only safe that a part of the windmess data of the DWE has been lost hereby. However, a coarse part of the missing information can be reconstructed from signals recorded on Earth. This failure rated Southwood as "Victims to the gods". Speculation, the American spatial probe Cassini, which serves Huygens as a relay station, had been incorrectly programmed, pointed Southwood Back. "For what happened, the ESA is solely responsible."

The successful operated Hasi (Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument), which examined the structure and physical properties of the titanate mosphere, but not least but was able to record, but thanks to an installed microphone of the distant world, which were sent directly to the earth via Cassini. It also confirmed that the surface of the titanium is minus 180 degrees cold. If methane and ethane were detected, the ESA researchers still work on the evaluation of the ample hydrocarbons. To what extent amino acids — the building blocks of earthly life — play a role, the time will show explain the researchers

How to interpret the pictures?

Since the pictures are sometimes more blurry, a momentary interpretation proves to be quite difficult. Some Huygens images indicate at first glance to the existence of water. "This could be channel, gorges and maybe a custody", Marty Tomasko speculates a photo specialist of the University of Arizona.

After all, the data seem to confirm the amptions of the scientists that the surface of the titanium consists of methane lakes and rivers and small and coarse chunks of water ice, said Tomasko.

He showed a panorama composited from several black and white photos, which acknowledged the approach on a crunch. The sacrifices flat could be ground mist, said Tomasko. He suspects that "Huygens" landed on a swampy orange-colored flat. The photo from its surroundings show about 15 centimeters high stones from water ice, which appear much gross by the perspective.


Like that — as Marcello Fulchignoni, the head of the Hasi experiment, on the press conference the Sounds of Titan, whose stakkato, covenants and dull knocks indeed remembered techno music, was first presented to the openness, a murmur went through the superfilled hall. "Of that we have two hours of material", Joked Fulchignoni. It should be unclear, however, whether the sound of windbons was caused. "If you are exactly, differences can be seen, but the exact analysis requires time." After all, there is unity in the fact that the beat to be horny comes from the pump of the aerosol analyzer of the Huygens probe. The ESOC spokeswoman Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin described the "titanic" Elegant empower still than the "Best techno music", they have ever guided.

During the "Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometer" (GCMS) The existence of dense methane cloud and which could be confirmed by stone-hard water ice, Hasi, Indes, found no hints on weather phenomena, which are associated with lightning and thunder. The researchers showed unanimously that they have to be patient. You worked the night and will introduce more, interesting results in the next week. The editing of the pictures will take weeks.

Добавить комментарий