National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Final Approach
Final Approach
17 Jun 2004
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011

Carolina Martinez (818) 354-9382
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

NEWS RELEASE: 2004-156
June 17, 2004

Cassini-Huygens Mission Status Report

After completing a successful trajectory correction maneuver on Wednesday, the Cassini spacecraft is now on its final approach to Saturn. The spacecraft is operating normally and is in excellent health.

The maneuver was necessary to adjust the spacecraft's course to achieve the desired ring plane crossing conditions on June 30. Cassini will pass through a known gap between two of Saturn's rings, called the F and G rings. The region of passage through the ring plane was searched for hazards with the best Earth- and space-based telescopes and by Cassini itself. To protect the spacecraft from particles too small to be detected from Earth, Cassini will be turned to use its high-gain antenna as a shield.

"This should be our final approach maneuver. It's on to Saturn and orbit insertion," said Earl Maize, deputy program manager for the Cassini-Huygens mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

During Wednesday's maneuver, Cassini's main engine burned for 38 seconds to slow the spacecraft by about 3.6 meters per second (about 8 miles per hour). In the next few days, mission managers will evaluate the tracking data to ensure the spacecraft is on the correct path for the Saturn encounter. All indications show everything is on target. Subsequent maneuvers are possible should tracking data indicate they are needed to correct the course of the spacecraft.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.

For the latest images and more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission, visit .

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 17 Jun 2004