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Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft, Mission to Saturn

Huygens Primary Objectives

Artists impression of Cassini-Huygens in orbit round Saturn

Cassini Objectives


Ring science objectives:

Icy satellite science objectives:


After the four years finished, it would move onto its secondary mission known as the Equinox missions then the Solstice missions after that. The Solstice and Equinox missions are on the page linked above. The picture below is an artists impression of the craft in orbit round Saturn. It is one of the heaviest space crafts ever launched into space.

The craft's contains a dash which is to indicate that the craft is actually two crafts in one. One part, the Cassini is the craft and the Huygens is a probe that was sent into the orbit of Titan which had an atmosphere which astronomers wanted to know more about. The Huygens probe was released from its mother craft on 25th December 2004 (Christmas Day) and on the 14th January it entered the atmosphere of the moon.

Cassini is named after Giovanni Cassini who discovered both gaps between the rings of the planet but also some of its moons. Huygens is named after Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens who discovered Saturn's largest moon and the one it would be visiting. Huygens was built by the Europeans whilst the craft Cassini was built by the Americans.

One of the interesting discoveries was made on 3rd April 2014, that there is an underground ocean of water on Enceladus, one of the Saturnian moons. The revelation also increases the prospect that there could be micro-organisms deep below. 1.

The primary resources for the mission can be found at N.A.S.A. and E.S.A.

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