Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Hostile Worlds


Sep 8, 2017

The Tardigrade is on its way to Titan, the biggest moon of Saturn.

We're about to break through its hazy orange atmosphere and land on its surface.

Our ship won't be the first human-built device to land on Titan though. The Huygens probe made this place its home back in 2005, when it was dropped off here by the Cassini spacecraft.

The Cassini-Huygens mission has taught us so much about this fascinating region of the outer solar system over the last 20 years. Now we want to take you to Titan so you can experience it for yourself.

So suit up and strap in. It's nearly time to land on this fascinating landscape of hydrocarbon oceans, and icy mountains.

And we'll be joined over our radio comms interface by Alexander Hayes, an assistant professor at Cornell Universty in the Astronomy department. He’s part of the Cassini Mission to Saturn research team, so Titan is basically his second home. We're in good hands!

Things to Learn

  • Perspective - how far away from the sun is Titan?
  • What's the story behind the Cassini-Huygens mission?
  • What did scientists expect to find on Titan? Were they right?
  • What does it look and feel like on Titan?
  • What kind of suit will you need to explore Titan?
  • How does sound work on Titan?
  • Why are regions and features on Titan named after places from Lord of the Rings, and Dune? Who decides on these names?

Tasks

Enjoying the journey so far? We'd love it if you could drop us a wee five-star rating and review on Apple Podcasts, or your podcast app of choice.

Links

Cornell University Astronomy Department

Kielder Observatory

The Cassini Mission to Saturn

International Astronomical Union

European Space Agency