Universe Guide

Cassini Mission at an End

The Cassini-Huygens mission has come to an end after 20 years. The Cassini space craft was directed to crash into Saturn, the giant ringed gas planet that is sixth on order from the Sun. The probe had been ordered to crash into Saturn to prevent it from crashing into one of the moons and possibly contaminating it with any virus that may have hitch-hiked onto it.

The mission had been a collaborative effort between National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) of the United States, the European Space Agency and the Italian space agency. The project cost about $4 Billion (£3 Billion) pounds and helped with our understanding of the giant planet.

It had been launched by N.A.S.A. at Cape Canaveral in Florida, 1997. During the journey, it spent six months studying Jupiter before heading onto Saturn before eventually reaching the ringed planet in 2004.

The craft had two parts, the Cassini part which examined the planet and moons and Huygens which was released into the atmosphere of Titan to study the atmosphere. Titan along with Enceladus are two moons that show promise as to supporting life. Future Jupiter missions will delve further into the atmospheres of these moons. Titan stands out from all other moons in the solar system including our own because it is the only one with a thick atmosphere.

Top 10 Cassini and Huygens Discoveries and Events

For more information and details about the above events, visit N.A.S.A. JPL

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