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Spacecraft Information


diagram of Cassini components

Classification: Orbiter spacecraft.

Mission: Explore Saturnian system.

Features: Cassini was launched aboard a Titan IV with a Centaur upper stage on October 15, 1997. It encountered Venus, Earth and Jupiter for gravity assists, to reach Saturn in July 2004 and enter into orbit. Its mission is to spend four years or more conducting a detailed examination of Saturn's atmosphere, rings, and magnetosphere, and close-up studies of its satellites, including radar-imaging portions of Titan's surface. Cassini carried the Huygens probe which parachuted through the atmosphere of Saturn's largest satellite Titan on January 14, 2005.

Stabilization: Three-axis stabilized via reaction wheels and thrusters.

Also see: Cassini Program website.