Huygens probe Surface Science Package instruments, 1997.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Casini-Huygens mision was launched in 1997 to explore Saturn and its moon Titan. The mision is due to arrive in orbit around Saturn on 1st July, 2004, and the Huygens probe should descend into Titan's atmosphere on 14th January, 2005. These instruments, produced at the University of Kent, are part of the Huygens space probe and will analyse the atmosphere and surface of Titan. The rod-like penetrator is attached beneath the probe and will impact the surface first to register whether the surface is solid or liquid. The other two sensors will measure the acoustic and thermal properties of the atmosphere.