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New Scientist is reporting that ESA scientists at Darmstadt and American scientists at Green Bank have picked up the carrier wave signal from the Huygens probe, indicating that it has deployed successfully into the atmosphere of Titan.

Actual telemetry from Huygens, if any, won't be available until later this afternoon, pending retransmission by the orbiting Cassini spacecraft.

The plan for Huygens is that its atmospheric instruments should take readings and measurements during its parachute descent, while its cameras take pictures (most of which should look like smog). If it survives landing, as expected, it will spend several more hours examining its immediate environment for things like temperature, atmosphereic pressure, soil or liquid composition, and, of course, the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which George Bush has claimed are being stockpiled by Saturn in violation of international maritime law.

A Pentagon spokesman, Rear Admiral Ken MacLeod, stated, "As  we all know, if you could find a big enough ocean to put it in, Saturn would float. This is, of course, completely unacceptable, and an affront to American control of the High Seas. Should Saturn attempt to do so, or should it fail to disarm and account for all of its stockpiles of dangerous gasses, we will have no choice but to attack, and sink it, for great justice."

Originally posted to Ray Radlein on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 06:53 AM PST.

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