Nasa Mission Cassini

Post 1900


NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is the agency in charge of the America's space program. NASA have successfully put a man on the moon, helped with the launch of the Hubble Telescope and have also sent many shuttles and probes out to space. A committee for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) were formed to make a plan for a space agency. NASA was developed in the late

1957 to 1958. Later NACA were incorporated into NASA.

About Cassini

Cassini's mission type is an Orbiter. Cassini was launched at the Cape Canaveral Air Force station in the United States with its launch vehicle being the Titan IVB/ Centaur. It weighs 5,712 kilograms fuelled and with everything it needs without the fuel and everything else it weighs 2,125 kilograms (3,587 less kilos). The spacecraft is 6.7 metres and 4 metres wide. The total cost for Cassini was around about 3.27 billion dollars.

Technologies Used

Cassini used many instrument including optical and radar imagers as well as composite infrared spectrometres, imaging systems, ultraviolent imaging spectrographs, visual and infrared mapping spectrometres, imaging radars, radio science, plasma spectromeres, cosmic dust analysers, magnetometer, magnetospheric imaging instruments and plasmic wave science which were all used for different reasons.

Who Was Cassini Named After?

Cassini was named honour of an astronomer from the 17th century who discovered the gaps in Saturn's ring, Giovanni Cassini.

Key Dates

15th October 1997- Cassini's launch

21st April 1998- Venus flyby

18th August 1999- Earth-moon flyby

30th December 2000- Jupiter flyby

31st March 2001- Jupiter observations complete

11th June 2004- Phoebe flyby

1st July 2004- Saturn orbit insertion

24th December 2004- Huygens probe release

14th January 2005- Huygens probe landing

27th November 2011- Distant flyby of Titan


Cassini was actually the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn as Pioneer 11 and Voyagers 1 and 2 were flyby missions. On the 14th of January 2005 Cassini dropped a huygens probe which entered the Titan's (Saturn's largest moon) atmosphere and was the first to send images back from a moon other than Earth's. Cassini continued its mission making many Titan flybys and got close inspections of other moons including Iapetus, Enceladus, Dione, Rhea and also encoutered other moons like Tethys, Mimas and Hyperion although it was from a further distance. Cassini inspecting Titan gave scientists a glimpse of what our planet might have looked like before life on Earth. Cassini's achievements have contributed to our knowledge and understanding of Saturn, many moons and Earth.