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Huygens passes communications test
Posted: Wed, Nov 28, 2001, 10:13 AM ET (1513 GMT)
Cassini and Huygens at Titan (NASA) ESA and NASA engineers said Tuesday that they believe that Huygens will be able to meet all its scientific objectives after the probe passed a communications test this month. Five days of tests were conducted in mid-November to test the communications like between Huygens and Cassini, simulating Huygens' descent into the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. Engineers said that even under the worst case scenario Huygens will be able to return all the data collected during its descent and for at least 15 minutes on the surface. Concerns about Huygens were raised last year when engineers found that the probe's communications system did not properly compensate for Doppler shifts, causing much of the data to be lost. Since then ESA and NASA have changed plans for Huygens' release, increasing the altitude of Cassini's flyby of Titan during Huygens' descent to reduce the magnitude of the Doppler shift.
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