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Huygens Probe Delivers Data From Saturnian Moon

The call from Titan is clear, technical problems were minor

6 min read
A 360-degree view from the Huygens probe 8 km from the surface of Titan shows a plateau [center] near the landing site. Huygens touched down at the far right of the image, which is thought to be a drainage channel. The white streaks are thought to be a gr
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18 January 2005—European and American scientists last Saturday morning unveiled the very first scientific results sent back from the Huygens Titan probe following its triumphant landing on Saturn’s largest moon. Though bleary-eyed from their all-night vigil, the scientists gave a presentation that delighted a crowd of journalists and staff assembled at the European Space Agency’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

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Top Tech 2022: A Special Report

Preview two dozen exciting technical developments that are in the pipeline for the coming year

1 min read
Photo of the lower part of a rocket in an engineering bay.

NASA’s Space Launch System will carry Orion to the moon.

Frank Michaux/NASA

At the start of each year, IEEE Spectrum attempts to predict the future. It can be tricky, but we do our best, filling the January issue with a couple of dozen reports, short and long, about developments the editors expect to make news in the coming year.

This isn’t hard to do when the project has been in the works for a long time and is progressing on schedule—the coming first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System, for example. For other stories, we must go farther out on a limb. A case in point: the description of a hardware wallet for Bitcoin that the company formerly known as Square (which recently changed its name to Block) is developing but won’t officially comment on. One thing we can predict with confidence, though, is that Spectrum readers, familiar with the vicissitudes of technical development work, will understand if some of these projects don’t, in fact, pan out. That’s still okay.

Engineering, like life, is as much about the journey as the destination.

See all stories from our Top Tech 2022 Special Report

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