Cassini–Huygens

CassiniCassini spacecraftCassini'' spacecraftCassini probeCassini missionCassini'' orbiterCassini'' probeCassini orbiterCassini-HuygensCassini space probe
The Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini, was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.wikipedia
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Huygens (spacecraft)

HuygensHuygens'' probeHuygens probe
The Flagship-class robotic spacecraft comprised both NASA's Cassini probe, and ESA's Huygens lander which landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
Built and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), it was part of the Cassini–Huygens mission and became the first spacecraft ever to land on Titan and the farthest landing from Earth a spacecraft has ever made.

Titan (moon)

TitanSaturn's moon Titanatmosphere
The Flagship-class robotic spacecraft comprised both NASA's Cassini probe, and ESA's Huygens lander which landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
Much as with Venus before the Space Age, the dense opaque atmosphere prevented understanding of Titan's surface until the Cassini–Huygens mission in 2004 provided new information, including the discovery of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in Titan's polar regions.

Giovanni Domenico Cassini

Giovanni CassiniCassiniJean-Dominique Cassini
The craft were named after astronomers Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Huygens.
The Cassini space probe, launched in 1997, was named after him and became the fourth to visit the planet Saturn and the first to orbit the planet.

Cassini retirement

Cassini mission's Grand Finale at Saturnatmospheric entryCassini'' retirement
The atmospheric entry of Cassini ended the mission, but analyses of the returned data will continue for many years.
The Cassini space probe was deliberately disposed of via a controlled fall into Saturn's atmosphere on September 15, 2017, ending its nearly two-decade-long mission.

2685 Masursky

The voyage to Saturn included flybys of Venus (April 1998 and July 1999), Earth (August 1999), the asteroid 2685 Masursky, and Jupiter (December 2000).
In January 2000, the Cassini space probe observed the S-type asteroid from afar during its coast to Saturn.

European Space Agency

ESAEuropeanEuropean Space Agency (ESA)
The Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini, was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.
Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

Moons of Saturn

moon of Saturnmoonmoons
The Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini, was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.
The Cassini mission, which arrived at Saturn in the summer of 2004, initially discovered three small inner moons including Methone and Pallene between Mimas and Enceladus as well as the second trojan moon of Dione – Polydeuces.

Saturn

Saturn's atmosphereExploration of Saturnhome planet
The Flagship-class robotic spacecraft comprised both NASA's Cassini probe, and ESA's Huygens lander which landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. The voyage to Saturn included flybys of Venus (April 1998 and July 1999), Earth (August 1999), the asteroid 2685 Masursky, and Jupiter (December 2000). The Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini, was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.
In images from the Cassini spacecraft during 2007, Saturn's northern hemisphere displayed a bright blue hue, similar to Uranus.

Italian Space Agency

ASIISAItaly
The Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini, was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.
Cassini-Huygens, a joint NASA/ESA/ASI mission to the Saturn system launched in 1997. The mission has made many new discoveries and increased understanding of the gas giant's environment, particularly Saturn's varied moons. ASI supplied Cassini's large high-gain antenna and radar package as well as involvement in other instruments.

Iapetus (moon)

IapetusEquatorial ridgeIapetian
Determining the nature and origin of the dark material on Iapetus's leading hemisphere.
Discoveries by the Cassini mission in 2007 revealed several other unusual features, such as a massive equatorial ridge running three-quarters of the way around the moon.

Titan IV

Titan IV(401)BTitan IVBTitan IVB/Centaur
Launched aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur on October 15, 1997, Cassini was active in space for nearly 20 years, with 13 years spent orbiting Saturn, studying the planet and its system after entering orbit on July 1, 2004. Cassini–Huygens was launched on October 15, 1997, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40 using a U.S. Air Force Titan IVB/Centaur rocket.
In 1997, a Titan IV-B rocket launched Cassini–Huygens, a pair of probes sent to Saturn.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Cape CanaveralCCAFSCape Kennedy
Cassini–Huygens was launched on October 15, 1997, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40 using a U.S. Air Force Titan IVB/Centaur rocket.
It was also the launch site for all of the first spacecraft to (separately) fly past each of the planets in the Solar System (1962–1977), the first spacecraft to orbit Mars (1971) and roam its surface (1996), the first American spacecraft to orbit and land on Venus (1978), the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn (2004), and to orbit Mercury (2011), and the first spacecraft to leave the Solar System (1977).

Large Strategic Science Missions

FlagshipFlagship-classFlagship mission
The Flagship-class robotic spacecraft comprised both NASA's Cassini probe, and ESA's Huygens lander which landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Tethys (moon)

Tethysthird moon
Tethys has been approached by several space probes including Pioneer 11 (1979), Voyager 1 (1980), Voyager 2 (1981), and multiple times by Cassini since 2004.

Phoebe (moon)

PhoebeA moonSaturn IX (Phoebe)
On June 11, 2004, Cassini flew by the moon Phoebe.
Phoebe was the first target encountered upon the arrival of the Cassini spacecraft in the Saturn system in 2004, and is thus unusually well-studied for an irregular satellite of its size.

Natural satellite

moonmoonssatellite
Determining the composition of the satellite surfaces and the geological history of each object.
However, targeted images taken by the Cassini spacecraft failed to detect rings around Rhea.

Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby

CRAFComet Rendezvous/Asteroid Flyby
Cassini was developed simultaneously with the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) spacecraft, but budget cuts and project rescopings forced NASA to terminate CRAF development to save Cassini.
The project was eventually canceled when it went over budget; most of the money still left was redirected to its twin spacecraft, Cassini–Huygens, destined for Saturn, so it could survive Congressional budget cutbacks.

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)space program
The Cassini–Huygens mission, commonly called Cassini, was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.
NASA continued to support in situ exploration beyond the asteroid belt, including Pioneer and Voyager traverses into the unexplored trans-Pluto region, and Gas Giant orbiters Galileo (1989–2003), Cassini(1997–2017), and Juno (2011–).

Lander (spacecraft)

landerlandersimpactor
The Flagship-class robotic spacecraft comprised both NASA's Cassini probe, and ESA's Huygens lander which landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
The Huygens probe, carried to Saturn's moon Titan by the Cassini, was specifically designed to survive landing on land and on liquid.

Interplanetary spaceflight

interplanetaryinterplanetary travelspace travel
The combined orbiter and probe is the third-largest unmanned interplanetary spacecraft ever successfully launched, behind the Phobos 1 and 2 Mars probes, as well as being among the most complex.
Space probes have been placed into orbit around all the five planets known to the ancients: first Mars (Mariner 9, 1971), then Venus (Venera 9, 1975; but landings on Venus and atmospheric probes were performed even earlier), Jupiter (Galileo, 1995), Saturn (Cassini/Huygens, 2004), and most recently Mercury (MESSENGER, March 2011), and have returned data about these bodies and their natural satellites.

Methone (moon)

Methone
Using images taken by Cassini, researchers discovered Methone, Pallene and Polydeuces in 2004, although later analysis revealed that Voyager 2 had photographed Pallene in its 1981 flyby of the ringed planet.
The Cassini spacecraft has made two visits to Methone and its closest approach was made on May 20, 2012 with a minimum distance of 1900 km from it.

Mimas (moon)

Mimas
The ellipsoidal shape of Mimas is especially noticeable in some recent images from the Cassini probe.

Robotic spacecraft

roboticunmanned space missionprobe
The Flagship-class robotic spacecraft comprised both NASA's Cassini probe, and ESA's Huygens lander which landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.
Newer probes such as Cassini–Huygens and the Mars Exploration Rovers are highly autonomous and use on-board computers to operate independently for extended periods of time.

Mariner Mark II

The mission was commonly called Saturn Orbiter Titan Probe (SOTP) during gestation, both as a Mariner Mark II mission and generically.
The first two missions of the project were to be a mission to Saturn and its moon Titan, the Saturn Orbiter/Titan Probe, or SOTP (later Cassini) and the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF), both of which were approved by Congress in 1990.

Venus

Morning Starevening starCytherocentric
The voyage to Saturn included flybys of Venus (April 1998 and July 1999), Earth (August 1999), the asteroid 2685 Masursky, and Jupiter (December 2000).
Several other Venus flybys took place in the 1980s and 1990s that increased the understanding of Venus, including Vega 1 (1985), Vega 2 (1985), Galileo (1990), Magellan (1994), Cassini–Huygens (1998), and MESSENGER (2006).