The spacecraft is named in honor of Giovanni Cassini (right), the 17th century astronomer who discovered gaps in Saturn's rings.
Cassini is a truly international mission. Three space agencies and 17 nations contributed to the mission.
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.
The orbiter is named for Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini (right).
Cassini is the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn.
Pioneer 11 was the first spacecraft to fly by Saturn in 1979.
The spacecraft is named for Giovanni Cassini (1625 - 1712), the European astronomer who discovered four moons of Saturn and a large gap in the planet's rings.
Cassini was the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn. Pioneer 11 and Voyagers 1 and 2 were flyby missions.
Saturn and its ring system serve as a miniature model for the disc of gas and dust surrounding the early Sun that formed the planets.