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Saturday, January 15, 2005

"We have heard the baby cry"

Signals from the Huygens probe, which has begun its descent to the surface of Saturn's moon Titan, reached Earth on Friday morning. At 1038 GMT scientists at the European Space Agency's mission control in Darmstadt, Germany learned that a radio telescope has received a carrier signal from the probe, arriving at the huge and enigmatic satellite.

It means that the probe must have survived its punishing entry into Titan's atmosphere, and successfully deployed its parachutes. "We have heard the baby cry," says Jean-Pierre Lebreton, Huygens mission manager. "We know the probe is alive, entry was successful, and we're under the parachute."

from The New Scientist