December 24, 2004 9:44 PM   Subscribe

The European Space Agency's Huygens probe successfully detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter today to begin a three-week journey to Saturn's moon Titan. NASA's Deep Space Network tracking stations in Madrid, Spain, and Goldstone, Calif., received the signal at 7:24 p.m. (PST). All systems performed as expected and there were no problems reported with the Cassini spacecraft. There was a very real probability it would have never have happened if it weren't for the persistence of a swedish engineer.
posted by Keyser Soze (14 comments total)
Great news! Thanks, Keyser.
posted by interrobang at 9:51 PM on December 24, 2004

With all the Xmas crises around here I had completely forgotten about Huygens. Thanks for the reminder!
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:54 PM on December 24, 2004

(From the last link)

The lander is fitted with cameras pointing down and sideways, instruments designed to unlock the atmosphere's chemical secrets, and a microphone to pick up wind sounds.

Please, please please let this work. I was so incredibly disappointed when that Mars lander with the microphone on it disappeared. I can't wait to hear the first-ever sounds from another world.

I know it'll be nothing but whooshing noises, but still. Sounds from outer space!
posted by interrobang at 9:55 PM on December 24, 2004

This is a very neat post, thanks for the heads up. I was completely missing the Cassini mission.
posted by litghost at 10:36 PM on December 24, 2004

Was the tinyurl in the page title really necessary? ugh.
posted by atom128 at 11:23 PM on December 24, 2004

thanks for making sure i didn't miss out on that little easter egg, atom.
posted by Embryo at 11:36 PM on December 24, 2004

what easter egg?
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:43 PM on December 24, 2004

You know what? goatse.cx has lost all effect. I had it set to my homepage till it went off-line.

Yeah, and I chew nails for breakfast.

I used to want to get revenge on idiots who got joy out of childish pranks, but then I grew up and realized that that's about the only joy they get. And when they wake up in the morning, they're still themselves, and they have to deal with that.

Enjoy your studio apartment with the cats.
posted by Eideteker at 12:27 AM on December 25, 2004 [1 favorite]

Hehe, looks like somebody is venting their bad day out on an anonymous persona. Anyways, that's beside the point. I think it is really interesting that if not for the work of Boris Smeds this critical portion of the Cassini mission would have ended in failure. Also, Einsteins theory of relativity was tested in the process, so a modicrum of advancement was achieved today.
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:37 AM on December 25, 2004

Well, I always love it when someone gets a good idea and refuses to back down, achieving success in the end.

You know, success is the best revenge, or somesuch...
posted by Samizdata at 2:17 AM on December 25, 2004

It's NASA's fault for stubbornly refusing to rename Uranus.
posted by dong_resin at 2:56 AM on December 25, 2004

Make sure you've got celestia, go to Titan and watch Huygens' landing
posted by klue at 6:42 AM on December 25, 2004

What in the world is going in in this thread?
posted by ticopelp at 11:10 AM on December 25, 2004

Metatalk for the confused.
posted by grouse at 4:56 PM on December 25, 2004

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