NASA Video Simulates Huygens' Historic Descent And Landing On Titan

NASA has released a video showing a simulation of the Huygens probe's descent and landing on Saturn's moon, Titan. This probe's landing is notable as the most distant landing to ever take place on another celestial body, says the space agency, and is also the only time something like this has landed on a 'body' located in the outer solar system. The probe's landing happened back in 2005, though the video itself is new.

The Huygens probe made its historic descent to Saturn's moon Titan back in 2005, and NASA recently decided to revisit that moment with a new video. The probe itself is shaped like a stereotypical flying saucer, and it took the better part of two and a half hours to descend to the moon. Immediately after landing, the probe began transmitting content that would eventually make its way back to researchers on Earth.

The probe only had 'minutes' to collect data and take images and transmit them, as it was dependent on what NASA calls its 'mothership' — once that moved below Titan's horizon, Huygens went dark, forever losing its contact with Earth. Fortunately, the probe pulled off its mission well, and we got our first official look at Titan's alien landscape.

Though the Huygens probe was the work of the European Space Agency, it made its way to Titan on NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The content revealed a 'hazy atmosphere,' 'rugged highlands,' and 'steep ravines,' says the space agency. The spacecraft itself will meet its own end this year, joining Huygens on Saturn as its final resting place.