Sunday, January 16, 2005

Huygens: Score one for European space tech

NASA provides the lift capacity (the Titan IV-B launcher) and the truck (Cassini), but the European Space Agency created the Huygens probe that's producing the sexy images everyone will remember. Photos of Titan from a distance are a dime a dozen since Voyager, but … methane seas and orange boulders beneath hydrocarbon smog! A young, dynamic surface! Wind! Rivers of something flowing at -290 Fahrenheit!

At first ESA was amazingly stingy, almost China-like, in getting images to the public, but seeing that it has a winner on its hands it's released several more, including some interesting composites. Score one for combined European technological prowess.

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