On January 14, 2005, the Huygens lander touched down on the surface of Titan. It sent back several images and plenty of other telemetry data, relayed by the Cassini orbiter overhead.

When did we stop receiving information from Huygens?


According to Wikipedia, the probe lasted only a short time beyond touchdown:

The probe was designed to gather data for a few hours in the atmosphere, and possibly a short time at the surface. It continued to send data for about 90 minutes after touchdown. It remains the most distant landing of any human-made craft.

This was expected:

The spacecraft had no more than three hours of battery life, most of which was planned to be used during the descent. Engineers expected to get at most only 30 minutes of data from the surface.

And in fact, the Cassini orbiter only attempted to listen to Huygens and relay its transmissions for that 30 minute period.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Now I feel stupid... I read the detailed timeline article, but it didn't mention when it stopped transmitting. $\endgroup$ – Joe Mar 25 '16 at 0:58

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