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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Titan Cassini Huygens Missions” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Titan Cassini Huygens Missions


Nearly 39 years after NASA’s surveyor 1 spacecraft successfully landed on the moon an unmanned space probe of the European Space Agency Huygens made an attempt to land on Titan–another moon of Saturn on January 14, 2005. An analysis of Titan’s characteristics will help throw further light on Earth’s early history. Basically. the mission will provide scientists a glimpse into chemistry which took place on earth before life emerged.

In December, 2004 the Huygens probe was ejected on a 22 day cruise to Titan Huygens reached Titan on 14 January 2005.

Cassini Huygens is the largest interplanetary spacecraft ever built. During the long journey to Saturn ESA scientists woke up the Huygens probe every six months to check that all was well. The Huygens probe can withstand temperatures of up to 1800°C. The heat generated as Huygens travelled through Titan’s thick gas atmosphere was immense.

Mission Objectives—Cassini Huygens is designed to shed light on many of the unsolved mysteries arising from previous observation such as :

(1) What is the source of heat inside Saturn that produces 87% more energy than the planet absorbs from sunlight.

(2) What is the origin of Saturns rings came from.

(3) Where do the subtle colours do in the rings.

(4) Are there any more moons.

(5) Why has the moon Euceladus such an abnormally smooth surface (Has recent melting erased craters).

(6) What is the origin of the dark organic material covering one side of the moon leptus.

(7) Which chemical reactions are occurring in Titan’s atmosphere.

(8) What is the source of methane—a compound associated to biological activity on Earth which is so abundant in Titan’s atmosphere ? Are there any oceans on Titan.

(9) Do more complex organic compounds and prebiotie molecules exist on Titan.

Cassini Huygens-Key Dates

11 June, 2004 Fly by of the furthest moon orbiting Saturn Phoebe at attitude of 2000 Km.

1 July, 2004 Crossing of Saturn ring during the spacecraft critical Sat-urn Orbital Insertion CSO1 sequence.

25 December. 2004 Huygens probe separates from the Cassium Orbiter and begins its 22 day journey to Titan.

14 January 2005 Huygens encountered the upper fringes of Titan’s atmosphere beginning its descent and landing on the surface about two and half hours later.

Titanic World—Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, the second largest in the solar system after Ganymede of Jupiter. It was discenered by Christian Huygens in 1655. Titan’s rotation period is 16 days and synchronous to Saturn. It means the same side always faces Saturn. It is only moon in the Solar System known to have cloud and thick planet like atmosphere.

Titan’s Atmosphere—NASA’s Voyagers 1 provided the first detailed images of Titan in 1980. They showed only an opaque orange atmosphere apparently homogeneous. As on Earth Titan’s atmosphere has mostly nitro-gen but there is also methane and many other organic compound. Images from the WM Kerk observatory reveal methane containing clouds near Titan’s South pole. This cloud means that Titan has the equivalent of a weather cycle similar to ours on Earth. The NASA Cassium Orbiter will clearly see these clouds before during and after releasing the Huygens probe.

Titan’s Surface—Over the years scientists have dramatically changed their minds about Titan’s surface. In the 1990’s the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope spied an area on Titan that was brighter than the rest. This place is named as Xandau.

Life on Titan—Titan Saturn’s largest moon is a mysterious place. Its thick atmosphere is rich in organic compounds. The signs (atmosphere, gases and organic compounds) found on the Titan would be signs of life if they were on other planets. Titan’s atmosphere is mostly nitrogenous but there is also methane and many other organic compounds. On earth today it is life itself that refreshes the methane supply. Methane is a by product of the metabolism of many organisms. On Earth the simplest biological sources such as those associated with fields and ruminant animals continuously supply fresh gas to replace methane destroyed by oxidation. Could this mean there is life on Titan.

Titans is not a pleasant place for life. It is far too cold for liquid water to exist and all known forms of life need liquid water. Titan’s surface is-180°C. According to one exotic theory long ago the impact of methane of a meteorite for example, might have provided enough heat to liquefy water for perhaps a few hundred or thousand years.

Titan Fact file

  1. Distance from Saturn 1221870 Km
  2. Distance from Sun 1427000606 Km
  3. Diameter (Atmo) 5550 Km
  4. Diameter (Sun) 5150 Km
  5. Mass 1/45 that of Earth
  6. Average Density 1.881 time water
  7. Surface Temperature 180 C (94 K)
  8. Atmospheric pressure 1500 MBR (1.5 times of surface)
  9. Atmospheric composition Nitrogen, Methane traces of amonia, Argon ethane.
  10. Titanic Day 15.95 Earth Days


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