Status Report

Huygens-Cassini Ready for Separation / ESA TV News / 17-12-2004

By SpaceRef Editor
December 16, 2004
Filed under , ,

The next transmission of the ESA TV Service will be:

Huygens-Cassini Ready for Separation

ESA TV Exchanges

17 December 10:00-10:15 GMT

Replay I: 17 December 15:00-15:15 GMT

Replay II: 18 December 11:45 -12:00 GMT

On Christmas Day at 03:08 GMT, the Huygens probe will separate from the Cassini orbiter and begin a 21-day descent towards Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

Huygens- release towards Titan will be a critical part of the mission. First, the probe’s timers will be set to wake it up three weeks later, just 45 minutes before it enters the Titan’s atmosphere. Then mission control team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena will point Cassini in the right direction. These crucial moment happen early on Christmas morning.

As Cassini’s antenna can-t point towards earth during the manoeuvre, mission control won-t know if the operation has been a success until the probe and orbiter have separated, and Cassini turns back to Earth. By then, Huygens will have already began its dive towards Titan, spinning like a dart to stay on course.

Today’s Programme includes new 3-D graphics and background footage on the separation. It will be completed by a VNR shot, edited and transmitted on 25 December from JPL. For details, see the ESA TV Website

Today’s Exchange is made of an A-roll with English commentary and international sound (split audio) plus a B-roll with clean international sound.

The script is online now under

A preview Media Player file is online under

On 17 December, both playouts are on Eutelsat W1. The replay on 18 December is on EbS.

More backgroud information can be found on:

Transmission details for 17 December:

Eutelsat W1 at 10 degrees east, Transponder B4 Middle 1 (SCPC), vertical, F=11079 MHz, SR=5.632 MS/sec, FEC=3/4

Transmisison details for 18 December:

EUTELSAT HOT BIRD at 13° East (DVB/MPEG-2), Horizontal, F=12,476 MHz (MCPC, Europe by Satellite), SR=27,500 MS/sec, FEC=3/4

For further information and a daily update of the transmission schedule, visit our website at For all enquires, contact Claus Habfast, Tel +31 71 565 3838, Fax +31 71 565 6340, e-mail

With kind regards,

ESA TV Service

SpaceRef staff editor.