T-minus six months to Cassini

You think landing on Mars was hard? Try landing on Titan–which is exactly what we’ll be doing, by very remote control, a little less than a year from now.

Good rundown here on the Cassini/Huygens probe that’s finally approaching Saturn; it should arrive this July. The Huygens probe will attempt to land on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and the only satellite with an atmosphere, next January. It’s arguably the most ambitious unmanned space mission ever.

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3 Responses to “T-minus six months to Cassini”

  1. Bravo Romeo Delta Says:

    This year has been a veritable Christmas of authentically badass space exploration.

  2. Zephalius Says:

    We have the engineering and computers to land vehicles on distant objects and study them by remote control. Is it really so much harder to put a human being on one? I understand you need more supplies, heat, etc. But why should it take more than a decade to have another human on the moon, get started on the moon base, and start looking at Mars?

  3. Will Collier Says:

    Zeph, it’s a lot harder. Just to pick one factor our of very many, it took seven years for Cassini to make the trip to Saturn. There’s no way a human being can be supported in free fall for seven years (just think how much food and water and oxygen he’d need for starters).

    That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t or can’t go. We just can’t use the same technology that we use for the robots (unfortunately, we’re going to have to invent the human-friendly technology first)…

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