Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tight NASA Videos, Part 3

Almost forgot about these! This is actually the video that made me want to start posting NASA media in the first place, as it really demonstrates the excitement of robotic space exploration. This here is the Huygens probe, part of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn launched in 1997, as it separates from Cassini and makes a descent into Titan's atmosphere in early 2005. Titan is of particular interest because it's one of the most likely contenders for life in the solar system apart from Earth and Mars.

We get to see the whole process, from its arrival in the Saturnian system, to its quick descent and quick deceleration as it slams into Titan's atmosphere at tens of thousands of miles an hour, to the parting of the mists that surround Titan, to the first ground-level look at the surface of another planet's moon. Enjoy:

Here's another video that covers essentially the same thing, but with a sense of how the images are collected in real time.

Cassini returned some amazing images in its own right, by the way, and is still in orbit of Saturn. Hopefully, some of those will make their way here too.

And hopefully NASA won't see its budget completely gutted because of the economic crisis. My guess is that its funding will be among the first to be stricken from the new federal budget. Unless Obama's NASA policy has changed, he's not particularly in favor of space exploration.

1 comment:

  1. I think it was cassini, but im not sure, but remember in middle school when there was a national invite to put your names on a hard drive that would be connected to the cassini spacecraft?