The Cassini-Huygens European/American mission was launched on 15 October 1997 and reached Saturn after just under seven years of flight. The aim behind the Cassini-Huygens mission is to accurately and scientifically investigate the gaseous planet Saturn and its moons. It comprises the Cassini space probe and the Huygens lander. In Germany, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Max-Planck Society (MPG), several universities and the German aerospace industry are involved in this mission.
The best Cassini-Huygens images of Saturn and its moons.
Five years ago, on 14 January 2005, the Huygens probe flew through the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan and landed gently on the surface, which is at a temperature of minus 180 degrees Celsius. The results of the Huygens landing and the first four years of the Cassini spacecraft's mission to the Saturn system have now been documented in two books in which scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have had significant involvement.
There are more and more signs that lakes exist on Saturn's moon Titan, filled with liquid hydrocarbons. Scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have made another important discovery. With a spectrometer onboard the planetary space probe Cassini, they found glints that have their origin in reflections of the Sun’s radiation from the surface of a large lake near Titan's North Pole.
Until now, the Earth was considered to be the only place in the solar system where it rains and where precipitation feeds streams which eventually drain into standing bodies of water. But using the Cassini space probe, a group of researchers which includes scientists of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have now discovered a lake on Saturn's moon Titan.