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7 October 1996 Cassini/Huygens mission to the Saturnian system
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Cassini is the name given to an interplanetary spacecraft and also to the mission which it is designed to fly. The Cassini spacecraft carries a smaller spacecraft, the Huygens Titan atmospheric probe, which will go to Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Scheduled for launch in October 1997, Cassini will take seven years to reach Saturn. In November of 2004, about six months after the Cassini spacecraft begins its first orbit about Saturn, Huygens will be dropped into Titan's atmosphere. The Huygens probe will descend slowly, by parachute, through Titan's thick, obscuring atmosphere. On the way down it will observe and measure the atmosphere and finally the surface. With the completion of Huygens' mission, the Cassini spacecraft will then embark upon an orbital tour of the Saturnian system, including an extended series of flybys of Titan, and close encounters with several of the smaller, icy satellites. Some instruments will observe by remote sensing; others will make in situ measurements. All of the elements of the systems (rings, magnetosphere, satellites, and Saturn itself) will be studied.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Dennis L. Matson "Cassini/Huygens mission to the Saturnian system", Proc. SPIE 2803, Cassini/Huygens: A Mission to the Saturnian Systems, (7 October 1996);


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