REACHING FOR THE STARS Huygens at Titan – New Discoveries, by Anna, 2004

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Captain Smith and his crew welcome you on board this Columbia 2, the most modern space shuttle. Our first flight to Titan Moon will take about five hours. Will you now please fasten your seat-belts for take off. Thank you.”

These familiar words usually heard while travelling by air could be heard in a space shuttle as well. At least it’s not difficult to imagine such a situation in the era of space travel. Obviously, we are not able to take a flight and land on Titan moon yet, but we’ve got a lot of data from Huygens, which landed on its surface on friday 14 January.

This could provide the key to solving one of the greatest mysteries: how life arises. There is evidence of Earth-like processes such as rain and erosion which are active today. On the other hand, this huge celestial object, full of liquid methane at a temperature of -179 degrees centigrade is considered to be too cold to host life forms.

Couldn’t it be warmed up? Is there a limit to science? Aren’t scientists able to prepare other planets for humans to move on? Planet Venus could be cooled down and Pluto knocked off its orbit and made to revolve soemwhere between Earth and Mars, where it’s more comfortable to live a pleasant life.

Changes are made with the passage of time and nobody knows what the future may bring, so get on the Columbia 2: “Ladies and Gentlemen – in a few minutes we shall be arriving at Titan Moon.”