Published: April 14, 2016

This free model is designed for anyone who wishes to learn more about the Cassini Spacecraft, although it is probably not appropriate for children less than about ten years of age to build unassisted. IIt has all of Cassini's major components, and all of its scientific instruments represented. Its Huygens Probe is removable. The model even contains internal details that can't be seen once you've finished assembling it.

Cassini, like all interplanetary spacecraft, was designed for high structural strength, minimizing mass. That makes it possible to reproduce its mechanical design with remarkably good fidelity, using only paper. The image at right shows the paper model assembled from pages which you can download. Its scale is about 1/37.

You can go ahead and download the Cassini Scale Model right now. It's contained in two "Portable Document Format" (pdf) files, which you can read using the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. If you don't have it, you can download the Acrobat Reader software now from Adobe, free of charge.

Here's how it works:

The first model file to download has the illustrated assembly instructions. It's 16 pages long, including text and graphics. The other file, which is six pages long, contains 60 parts for you to cut out.

Once you download the files, you can view the assembly instructions on your computer, or you can print them out.

Then print the Parts file using your black & white printer, onto card stock if possible. If you can't print onto card stock, regular paper will do. Cut out all the parts, fold and glue according to the instructions, and you'll have an accurate scale model of the Cassini Spacecraft. Most of the parts can be cut out using scissors, but in some places for best results, a sharp art knife should be used. This, of course, requires close adult supervision if a child is working on it. Regular white glue is recommended.

The pages are designed to be printed on 8.5x11-inch sheets, or A4 size sheets.

This model is not by any means a quick and easy assembly job; it's serious model building. It offers an opportunity to spend a good amount of quiet time learning all about Cassini. Probably five hours would be a minimum assembly time.

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