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The Cassini mission to Saturn is a joint undertaking of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, and numerous other European academic and industrial participants. The Cassini mission will provide a close-up investigation of the Saturn system, including Saturn's atmosphere and magnetosphere, its rings, and several of its moons. Saturn's largest moon Titan is of particular interest. ESA is developing the Huygens probe that will descend through Titan's atmosphere, directly sampling the atmosphere and determining its composition. To accomplish its ambitious scientific objectives, the orbiter and the probe carry 18 scientific instruments to conduct a total of 27 scientific investigations. The Cassini Spacecraft is scheduled for launch on a Titan IV/Centaur in October of 1997. Cassini will reach the Saturn system in 2004. The tour of the Saturn system is scheduled for 4 years and includes 63 orbits of Saturn and more than 36 flybys of Titan. During the first Saturn orbit, the Huygens probe will separate from the Cassini orbiter and descend through the atmosphere of Titan. This paper summarizes the current status of the Cassini program.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Richard J. Spehalski "Cassini mission to Saturn", Proc. SPIE 2803, Cassini/Huygens: A Mission to the Saturnian Systems, (7 October 1996);


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