Cassini

cassini

Cassini–Huygens is a joint NASA/ European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft mission currently studying the planet Saturn and its many natural satellites. The spacecraft consists of two main elements: the NASA-designed and -constructed Cassini orbiter, named for the Italian-French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and the ESA-developed Huygens probe, named for the Dutch astronomer, mathematician and physicist Christiaan Huygens. Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter orbit.

The complete spacecraft was launched in 1997 and entered into orbit around Saturn in 2004. Shortly after arrival, the Huygens probe separated from the orbiter and headed for Saturn’s moon Titan. In 2005, it descended into Titan’s atmosphere, and downward to the surface, radioing scientific information back to the Earth by telemetry. This was the first landing in the outer solar system.

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