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Cassini flies past Titan
Posted: Wed, Dec 15, 2004, 7:45 AM ET (1245 GMT)
Cassini and Huygens at Titan (NASA) NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its second close approach to Titan this week, encountering more atmospheric drag than expected during the flyby. Cassini made its close approach to Titan at 7 pm EST Monday (0000 GMT Tuesday), coming within 1,200 km of the moon's surface. USA Today reported Wednesday that the spacecraft encountered more atmospheric drag than expected during the flyby, evidence that the moon's atmosphere extends farther outward than expected. As a result, mission controllers plan to raise the altitude of a planned February flyby from 950 to 1,030 km. Cassini is still on schedule to release the ESA-built Huygens probe late on Christmas Eve; Huygens will enter Titan's atmosphere on January 14.
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