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January 17, 2005

Images Returned from Saturn's Mystery Moon

Eerie glimpses of Saturn's mystery moon Titan have scientists at the European Space Agency reveling in the weekend's successful landing of its Huygens probe.

"I have to say I was blown away by what I saw," says ESA science director David Southwood.

In landing on Titan, the most distant locale ever touched by humankind, "Huygens shows Europe can deliver when it comes to space," Southwood says. The success contrasts with the fate of the United Kingdom's Mars-bound Beagle 2 lander, which was lost in 2003 after its release from ESA's Mars Express orbiter.

Unblemished data transmitted by Huygens exceeded scientists' wildest hopes, despite a glitch that disabled one of the probe's radio channels. ESA plans an inquiry.

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Posted by Blogorithm at January 17, 2005 01:43 AM

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