Astronomy_1_worksheet_4_part_11 - Figure 14 Cassini orbital...

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Figure 14 – Cassini orbital insertion 1. The United States has sent four spacecraft to Saturn so far. In the late 1970’s, Pioneer 11 became the first spacecraft to ever fly past the planet. The following two years, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 both made flybys. Their spectacular photos documented much about Saturn and discovered its many moons. 2. However, the fourth American and European spacecraft is the newest and most exciting visitor to Saturn. Its name is “ Cassini ”, named in honor of the man who discovered Saturn’s rings through a telescope in 1675. On June 30, 2004, it arrived at Saturn after a seven-year voyage from Earth and went into orbit around the ringed planet. That journey is beyond a doubt the most amazing and complex feat of celestial mechanics man has ever achieved. 3. Cassini has 12 separate instruments to study Saturn, its rings and moons, magnetic fields and composition. Cassini also carried a probe (called Huygens ) that detached from the main spacecraft in January 2005 and parachuted down into the atmosphere of one of
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2010 for the course ASTRONOMY astronomy taught by Professor Moth during the Fall '09 term at California State University , Monterey Bay.

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Astronomy_1_worksheet_4_part_11 - Figure 14 Cassini orbital...

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