Launch Date: October 15, 1997
Mission Summary: Cassini will do a detailed study of Saturn's rings, magnetosphere, its icy satellites, and its moon Titan, starting January 1, 2004. It will drop a small probe provided by the European Space Agency, Huygens, onto Titan's surface. Huygens, which is named after Titan's discoverer, Christiaan Huygens, will land via a parachute and provide valuable data on Titan's clouds, atmosphere, and its mysterious surface. Cassini will then proceed to tour around the Saturn system, taking pictures and gathering other scientific data. The primary mission will be concluded after four years at Saturn in July of 2008. Possible extended mission options include using Titan's gravity to escape Saturn's orbit and visit other celestial bodies, going into orbit around Titan using aerobraking, and passing through Saturn's G ring.
As of the making of this node, Cassini is in excellent health and is completing its distant flyby of Jupiter.
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