Sunday, February 1, 2015
Real footage of Cassini-Huygens descent down to the Titan surface
Cassini-Huygens - Ten Years
It has already been ten years since the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft landed upon a moon of Saturn called Titan. The Saturn Mission has been a collaboration of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Initially there were a half dozen or so independent space agencies headquartered in the Cisalpine region, each constructing various parts for the mission, Someone sent me the names of these private agencies, but I misplaced it. I recall with demusement, the radio talk show host Michael Savage proclaiming the he wasn't aware that "Italy" had any space agency... despite the 107 average IQ of root stock Cisalpines, and the continuous scientific contributions to the humankind for centuries.
This video feed, from the initial landing in 2005, almost looks surreal, like a video game, or special effects from a movie. It is, however, very real. Titan has mountains, flat lands, lakes, and rivers. I have heard what almost sounded like claims that it would be about as inhospitable as Antarctica. In other words, a human could almost get by merely dressed as one would in Antarctica, with a breathing apparatus. I say almost, as the surface is about two hundred degrees below zero. Titan has an atmosphere of methane (Earth's atmosphere is partly methane), and the water is mostly methane.. apparently this liquid does not freeze. If the atmosphere could be warmed up, it could be habitable.
A few links:
Italian Space Agency (English language)
What Huygens Saw On Titan - New Image Processing | Video (same as the above, but with commentary)
NASA | Revealing Saturn: Cassini's Tenth Year
Why no Waves in Titan's Ocean's
The Sound of Saturn: The Winds of Titan, from the Huygens Probe
The Eerie Sounds Of Saturn (very strange)