Not long after the end of this three-hour communication window, Cassini's high-gain antenna (HGA) was turned away from Titan and towards Earth.Very large radio telescopes on Earth were also listening to Huygens' 10-watt transmission using the technique of very long baseline interferometry and aperture synthesis mode. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia detected the carrier signal from Huygens.Built and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), it was part of the Cassini–Huygens mission and became the first spacecraft ever to land on Titan and the farthest landing from Earth a spacecraft has ever made.It was also the first landing on a moon other than our own.
To address this important goal, the European Space Agency (ESA) has established the Exo Mars programme to investigate the Martian environment and to demonstrate new technologies paving the way for a future Mars sample return mission in the 2020's.
The 2020 mission includes a rover that will carry a drill and a suite of instruments dedicated to exobiology and geochemistry research.
Roscosmos will provide a Proton launcher for both missions.
The "coast" timer was loaded with the precise time necessary to turn on the probe systems (15 minutes before its encounter with Titan's atmosphere), then the probe detached from the orbiter and coasted in free space to Titan in 22 days with no systems active except for its wake-up timer.
The main mission phase was a parachute descent through Titan's atmosphere.