Facts About the Cassini Saturn Mission:
Since achieving orbit about Saturn in June of 2004, the Cassini Saturn mission received an extension to continue looking for answers to the many new questions that developed after its arrival to Saturn's system of rings and moons. It is overseen by Carolyn Porco.
Facts about the Cassini Saturn Mission:
Official Name: For the first four years, its official name was the Cassini Saturn Mission, but now, due to its extension, it has been named the Cassini Equinox Mission.
Active Observation of the Saturnian System: The mission first began on June 30, 2004 and continued through June 30, 2008. It has now been approved to continue through September 2010 to help answer the many newly developed questions about Saturn's equinox, which occurs in August of 2009.
Cassini Partners: This is a joint effort between NASA, the ESA, and the Italian space agency, ASI, with the entire project being managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories.
Launch Date: October 15, 1997
Launch Vehicle: Titan IVB/Centaur
Weight of Cassini: 5,712 kilograms (12,593 pounds)
Distance traveled to orbit Saturn: 3.5 billion Km/2.2 billion miles
Saturn’s average distance from Earth: 1.43 billion Km/ 890 million miles
At Cassini's arrival, the one way speed of light time from Saturn to Earth: 84 min.
During orbital tour, the one way speed of light time from Saturn to Earth: 67-85 min.
Venus flyby: Apr. 26, 1998 (234km) & June 24, 1999 (600km)
Earth flyby: Aug. 18, 1999 (1171 km)
Jupiter flyby: Dec. 30, 2000 (10 million km)
Arrival date in Saturn: June 30, 2004
Huygens Probe size: 2.7 meters (8.9 feet) in diameter, Weight: 320 kilograms (705 pounds)
Huygens Prober release date: December 24, 2004
Huygens Probe Landed on Titan: January 14, 2005