Landing on a Saturn Moon

Presented by: Peter Chamberlain

On 6 October 1997, the Cassini space craft was launched to start its 7 year mission to Saturn. The drawing shows the path it is to take.

It will reach Saturn on 25 June 2004 when rockets will be fired to put it in orbit around Titan, one of Saturn's moons. From this orbit, Cassini will be able to transmit data about Saturn and Titan back to Earth. It will also be able to launch a moon-lander called Huygens. Huygens is fitted with PENETROMETERS which produce electric signals when the moon-lander hits Titan's surface. Much will be learned of Titan's surface by studying these signals.

Your investigation is to experiment with a penetrometer by dropping one on a variety of surfaces. You are to produce a report which will help the scientists interpret the electric signals which will come from the penetrometers on Huygens when it lands on Titan. This will help them to describe Titan's surface.

Before starting your investigation, the following web sites contain some useful background information: www.ssd.rl.ac.uk/news/cassini and www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini

Click here for details of the Experiment


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