Eight years ago today, the European Space Agency's Huygens bounced, slid and wobbled its way to rest on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. It had been "dropped off" 21 days before by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The anniversary marks a touchdown on the most remote alien surface ever visited by a landing probe.
A new animation created by ESA presents the last part of the two-and-a-half-hour descent through Titan’s thick atmosphere on to the moon’s surface on Jan. 14, 2005. The animation was created using real data recorded by Huygens’ instruments.
Cassini has been in orbit around Saturn since July 2004.
The Cassini–Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and ASI, the Italian space agency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.