The Huygens surface science package (SSP):flight performance review and lessons learned

Leese, M. R.; Lorenz, R. D.; Hathi, B. and Zarnecki, J. C. (2012). The Huygens surface science package (SSP):flight performance review and lessons learned. Planetary And Space Science, 70(1) pp. 28–45.



The Surface Science Package(SSP) was one of six instruments flown onboard the Huygens probe to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, in the framework of the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini–Huygens mission (Matson et al.,2002). The SSP operated throughout the probe’s descent and after landing on Titan on 14th January 2005. This paper reviews scientific results from the Surface Science Package, and also reports previously unpublished flight data which illustrate the performance of the measurement systems in the Titan environment. This review provides some lessons learned that may be useful for further detailed analysis of the Huygens mission data, and for payloads for future missions to Titan, in which there has been recent interest (e.g., the Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM)(Joint TSSM Science Definition Team, 2009), TANDEM (Coustenis et al., 2009) or the Titan Mare Explorer(TiME) Discovery-class proposal(Stofan et al., 2010)), as well as for planetary probe missions more generally.

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