These flags illustrate the international scope of the Cassini program. Although its primary sponsors are NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the Cassini team encompasses academic and industrial partners in 33 states and 18 other nations. Of these 19 countries, 17 have been active participants since the mission launched in 1997. Development of the Huygens Titan probe was managed by the European Space Technology and Research Center, and 14 European nations are participating. Hardware was supplied by many European nations while the probe's batteries and two of the scientific instruments were furnished by the United States. ASI contributed the Cassini spacecraft's high-gain antenna, the majority of the radio system, and significant portions of three science instruments. Communications with Cassini are carried out through stations of NASA's Deep Space Network in California, Spain, and Australia. In the U.S., the mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the Cassini orbiter was designed and assembled.
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