A joint endeavour of ESA, NASA and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Cassini-Huygens is an extremely sophisticated spacecraft, completing a study of the Saturnian system in unprecedented detail. The major contribution from ESA to the mission was a scientific probe called Huygens, which was released from the main spacecraft to parachute through the atmosphere and on to the surface of Saturn's largest moon: Titan. Huygens successfully landed on Titan at around 11:30 UTC 14 January 2005, the first landing to take place in the outer Solar System and the furthest from Earth. Cassini-Huygens was launched on a Titan IV-B/Centaur launch vehicle on 15 October 1997. Data from the HUYGENS descent and landing has been available in the PSA since August 2006.
Huygens is part of the international Cassini-Huygens mission. The full Cassini data holdings, including a copy of the Huygens data are also archived at NASA's PDS Atmospheres Node. Access to the full Cassini-Huygens holdings at the PDS Atmospheres Node can be found here.
Huygens Probe Instruments
Aerosol Collector and Pyrolyzer
Descent Imager Spectral Radiometer
Descent Trajectory Working Group
Probe descent trajectory and attitude reconstruction from the probe and orbiter science and engineering data. The DTWG provides a single, common descent profile for analysis of experiment measurements, and correlation of results between experiments.
Doppler Wind Experiment
Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer
Investigation of the chemical composition of Titan's atmosphere and determination of the isotope ratios of its major gaseous constituents. GCMS also analysed samples from the Aerosol Collector Pyrolyser (ACP) and several candidate surface materials.
Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument
A multi-sensor package designed to measure the physical quantities characterising Titan's atmosphere. HASI included: accelerometers (ACC); a deployable booms system (DBS); temperature sensors (STUB), and pressure and acoustic sensors.
Surface Science Package
A suite of sensors including an accelerometer, tilt sensors, a thermal properties assembly, acoustic properties sensors, and instrumentation to measure fluid permittivity, density and refractive index. SSP was designed to ascertain the composition and physical properties of Titan's surface at the impact site.