Saturn Orbit Insertion
This graphic shows the trajectory of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft from the perspective of Earth as it enters orbit around Saturn. All times in listed are Pacific Daylight Time.
Highlights of orbit insertion:
- 6:10 PM.: Spacecraft turns so its high-gain antenna can shield the craft from particles as it crosses Saturn's ring plane.
- 7:36 PM: Engine begins burn, which will slow spacecraft down so it can be captured by Saturn's gravity. Burn lasts approximately 96 minutes.
- 8:54 PM: Cassini captured in Saturn orbit.
- 9:03 PM: Closest approach to Saturn of entire mission: 19,980 kilometers (12,400 miles) from Saturn's cloud tops.
- 9:12 -9:22 PM: Engine burn ends.
- 9:35 PM: Spacecraft begins to take pictures of Saturn's rings.
Image Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory