NASA MISSION (POST 1900)

CASSINI

NASA's meaning

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Cassini

the spacecraft (Cassini) is named in the honor of Giovanni Cassini, a 17th century astronomer who discovered gaps in the rings of Saturn. The orbiter is about the same size as a 30 passenger school bus. It weighs roughly 5,650 kg (6 tons). Half of that is rocket fuel.

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Dates of flyby and other

15 Oct 1997

Launch

21 Apr 1998

Venus Flyby

18 Aug 1999

Earth-Moon Flyby

30 Dec 2000

Jupiter Flyby

31 Mar 2001

Jupiter Observations Complete

11 Jun 2004

Phoebe Flyby

1 Jul 2004

Saturn Orbit Insertion

24 Dec 2004

Huygens Probe Release

14 Jan 2005

Huygens Probe Landing

27 Nov 2011

Distant Flyby of Titan

status:

Extended Mission in Progress


Discoveries and dates

Aug. 7, 2009

The Cassini spacecraft captured this image of a small object in the outer portion of Saturn's B ring casting a shadow on the rings as Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox.


March 3, 2008

New found moon may be source of Saturn's outer rings- - NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has found within Saturn’s G ring an embedded moonlet that appears as a faint, moving pinprick of light. Scientists believe it is a main source of the G ring and its single ring arc.

Feb. 19, 2008

Cassini finds mingling moons may have dark pasts-- Despite the incredible diversity of Saturn's icy moons, theirs is a story of great interaction. Some of them are pock-marked, some seemingly dirty, others pristine, one spongy, one two-faced, some still spewing with activity and some seeming to be captured from the far reaches of the solar system. Yet many of them have a common thread -- black "stuff" coating their surfaces.

Dec. 6, 2007

images of Saturn's small moons tell their own storeys-- scientists on NASA's Cassini mission are telling a tale of how the small moons orbiting near the outer rings of Saturn came to be. The moons began as leftover shards from larger bodies that broke apart and filled out their "figures" with the debris that made the rings.

July 19, 2007

Saturn turns 60-- Scientists have recently discovered that the planet Saturn is turning 60 not years, but moons.

The newly discovered moon first appeared as a very faint dot in a series of images Cassini took of the Saturn's ring system on May 30 of this year.

May 3, 2005

Astronomers from the University of Hawaii announced the discovery of 12 moons in the outskirts of the Saturn's region.

Technology used at time

Cassini's obiter is a high-gain radio along with a low-gain antenna (that allows telecommunications with the Earth for the entire time of the mission), a compact and lightweight radar, which also uses the high-gain antenna and serves as a synthetic aperture radar, a radar altimeter, a radiometer, the radio science subsystem (RSS), the visible channel portion VIMS-V of VIMS spectrometer (the VIMS-IR counterpart was provided by NASA, as well as Main Electronic Assembly, which includes electronic subassemblies provided by CNES of France .Cassini is powered by 32.7 kg of Plutonium—the heat from the material's radioactive decay is turned into electricity.

Contributions to our knowledge

Cassini has contributed to our knowledge, by teaching us about Saturn's moon and near-by un-Known planets, Saturn's ring and what the rings are made of, shown us where the moons are in the outskirts of Saturn's rings

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