Destination Titan

Synopsis: This documentary explain, what it took to reach Titan, the first and, so far, only landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System.
Genre: Documentary
60 min

January 14, 2005,

the day had finally arrived -

the day that I'd thought about

every day for 17 years.

near Saturn, there was something

that we'd built and it was hurtling

through space at 20,000 mph.

Would it do just what we'd designed

it to do or would it all be wasted?

We went into the science room

that morning

knowing that whatever

was going to happen

was going to happen,

and this was the day.

There was an enormous

air of expectation.

Basically anyone I met

was as excited but also as nervous

as I was about the whole mission.

Frankly I think we

were all petrified.

But the very worst thing that

shouldn't have happened, happened.

And it turned out it was a

major problem.

I just wanted to go away

and cry in a corner.

That really ramped up the nerves and there's

a missing command, what else is wrong?

I really had visions now of

the last 17 years having been wasted.

"Red Planet Rock"

by Don Lang & His Frantic Five

# Everybody, watch the sky

# The weather's all jumping

and I'll tell you why... #

Growing up in the late 50s,

all I knew about space travel was

probably from reading about Dan Dare,

for example, in the Eagle comic.

I knew very little about the planets,

probably from schoolbooks.

All we knew was from often rather blurry,

indistinct images from telescopes on the ground.

I think I knew that Saturn

was a large ball of gas.

We call it a gas giant, and it was

about 1 billion miles away from us

here on the Earth, but I certainly

didn't know anything about Titan.

I didn't know that it was one of

Saturn's moons orbiting around it.

I mean you have to remember we didn't

have any spacecraft images of course,

and then something happened

to change all of that.

'Half an hour ago,

the Russians announced

'that they had put

the first man into space.

'It's the voice in space of

Major Yuri Gagarin.'

'It must be

one of the greatest scientific

'events for one of the greatest

occasions in the history of man.'

It was absolutely mind-boggling.

It's impossible now really to

imagine the impact that it made.

Man in space.

Excuse me, what do you think of

the news? I think it's fantastic.

Well, I can tell you he's now back,

safe and sound. Really?

I didn't think he would get back.

Well, I say, very best of British

good luck to the chap myself.

Within months of Gagarin's flight,

he embarked on a world tour

and I think it's true that the first port

of call was the United Kingdom and London.

Major Gagarin, could you tell us what you

think of the reception of the British public?



The welcome I have been given by the

British public has been overwhelming.

It has been most friendly and kind.


'I see smiling faces everywhere...'

What about you,

would you like to be a spaceman?

Oh, well, it all depends.

If it comes up, like everybody

in a kind of craze,

I think I might have a go.

You might have a go, might you? Yes.

What did you think of the Major?

I liked his uniform and I like

the company all around us.

The school that I was at, Highgate,

was very close to Highgate Cemetery.

Of course, every visiting Russian dignitary

had to visit the tomb of Karl Marx.

I remember school was cancelled

for the afternoon.

It was such a big event, you know, Gagarin

coming to London, coming to Highgate.

I think I only decided to come

along here at the last minute.

I'm not sure why. I don't know if I'm a believer

in fate but it must have been fate, mustn't it?

And it was my eureka moment -

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Destination Titan" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 27 Oct. 2020. <>.

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