Encyclopedia Astronautica
Cassini



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Cassini
American outer planets probe. 2 launches, 1997.10.15 (Cassini) and (Huygens). The Cassini spacecraft was a scientific platform designed to perform an in-depth study of the Saturnian system.

After insertion into its orbit about Saturn in 2004, Cassini performed detailed studies of Saturn's atmosphere, magnetosphere, rings and several of its moons. Chief among the goals was a thorough characterization of the large moon, Titan. Titan's surface was mapped using synthetic aperture radar. Its atmosphere and surface was investigated by the ESA built Huygens probe that was released from Cassini and descended to Titan's surface via parachute. Scientists and engineers from the US and 16 European countries participated in the mission.

The spacecraft was 3-axis stabilized; power was supplied by 3 RTG (628W at EOM); a 4 meter high gain antenna supported S-, X-,Ku-, Ka-band signals, and X-band telemetry at 249 kbps. Two backup low gain antennas were provided for emergency commanding. The spacecraft had dual redundant flight computers; dual redundant 445N gimbaled main engines (burning N2O4, MMH), 16 hydrazine ACS thrusters; redundant star sensors, sun sensors, HRG IRUs, reaction wheels; active thermal control using RHUs, heaters, louvers; redundant solid-state recorders; and a high level of spacecraft autonomy and fault protection

The experiments carried aboard the Cassini orbiter included:

  • Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
  • Cassini Radar
  • Radio Science Subsystem (RSS)
  • Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS)
  • Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS)
  • Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS)
  • Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA)
  • Radio and Plasma Wave Spectrometer (RPWS)
  • Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS)
  • Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS)
  • Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI)
  • Dual Technique Magnetometer (MAG)
.

The 2.7 meter diameter Huygens probe was deployed by three pyrotechnic release bolts. The heat shield protected the probe during reentry and used AQ60 material developed by Aerospatiale. Three parachutes were used to control final descent. Huygens was equipped with a redundant S-band link (8 kbps max), lithium sulfur-dioxide (LiSO2) primary batteries, and a radar altimeter. The Huygens probe experiments included:

  • Descent Imager and Spectral Radiometer
  • Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument
  • Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometer
  • Aerosol Collector Pyrolyzer
  • Surface Science Package
  • Doppler Wind Experiment.

Cassini had a $ 3.4 billion total program costs, including the US Orbiter at $ 1.4 billion; the ESA/Aerospatiale Huygens probe at $ 422 million. and the Titan IVB K32 launch at $ 450 million.

Height: 6.70 m (21.90 ft).
First Launch: 1997.10.15.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
  • Titan 4B American orbital launch vehicle. Titan 4 with Upgraded Solid Rocket Motors replacing UA1207. Developed to improve performance for certain missions, and reduce number of field joints in motor after Challenger and Titan 34D explosions involving segmented motors. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • JPL American agency;manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA. More...
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...
  • ASI Italian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Agenzia Spaziale Italiano (Italian space agency), Italy. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report,
  • NASA Report, Cassini Launch Press Kit, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Jupiter Millennium Mission Press Kit, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cassini-Huygens Saturn Arrival Press Kit, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, JPL Cassini Mission to Saturn Factsheet, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Millennium Flyby Travel Guide, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cassini Huygens: The Role of Ames Research Center, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, A Big Boost for Cassini: NASA Glenn Efforts Launch Cassini Toward Saturn, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cassini Saturn Orbit Insertion Timeline, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Cassini Mission to Saturn, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn Factsheet, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cassini Spacecraft and Huygens Probe , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cassini's Earthly Benefits , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Spacecraft Power for Cassini , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, ESA Christiaan Huygens: Facets of a Genius, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Titan: From Discovery to Encounter, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, High Ambitions for an Outstanding Planetary Mission: Cassini-Huygens, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, An Introduction to the Design of the Cassini Spacecraft, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Cassini/Huyegens Mission to Saturn and Titan, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Cassini/Huyegens Mission to Saturn and Titan, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Mission to Saturn and Titan : Cassini science objectives, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Meeting with a Majestic Giant: The Cassini Mission to Saturn, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cassini / Huygens Science Instruments, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Cassini Mission Deep Space Comunications Into the Next Century , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Outward to the Beginning, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • CRAF/Cassini Status Report, December 17, 1991. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC40 Titan launch complex. Constructed as part of the Titan Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV vehicles. More...

Cassini Chronology


1997 October 15 - . 08:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan Centaur 401B. LV Configuration: Titan 401B/Centaur 4B-33/TC-21 (45E-13).
  • Cassini - . Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: JPL. Class: Outer planets. Type: Outer planets probe. Spacecraft: Cassini. USAF Sat Cat: 25008 . COSPAR: 1997-061A. Summary: En route Venus.
  • Huygens - . Nation: Europe. Agency: NASA. Spacecraft: Cassini. USAF Sat Cat: 25008 . COSPAR: 1997-061xx.

1998 April 26 - .
  • Cassini Venus Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

1999 June 24 - .
  • Cassini, second Venus Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

1999 August 18 - .
  • Cassini, Earth Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2000 December 30 - .
  • Cassini, Jupiter Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2003 September 10 - .
  • Cassini makes course correction. - . Nation: Europe. Spacecraft: Cassini. The Cassini probe to Saturn made a course correction burn at 2000 UTC, changing its velocity by 0.12m/s. At the time Cassini was 1284 million km from the Sun, in an orbit of 1.4462 AU x 9.2769 AU with an inclination of 0.81 deg to the ecliptic plane and the correction altered the orbit by about ten parts per million. On September 14 Cassini was 137 million km from Saturn; Saturn's nominal gravitational sphere of influence is 55 million km in radius and Cassini was to reach that point on 2004 March 10, 2004. The probe was to make a 2000 km flyby of the Saturnian moon Phoebe on June 11, 2004.

2004 June 11 - .
  • Cassini, Phoebe Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 June 30 - .
  • Cassini, Saturn Orbit Insertion, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 August 23 - .
  • Cassini, Periapsis Raise Maneuver (OTM-2), Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 October 26 - .
  • Cassini, first Targeted Titan Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 November 20 - .
  • Cassini, Post Titan A Apoapsis Maneuver (OTM-6), Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 November 23 - .
  • Cassini, Huygens Probe Checkout, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 December 13 - .
  • Cassini, second Titan Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 December 15 - .
  • Cassini, Dione Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 December 24 - .
  • Cassini, Huygens Probe Release, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2004 December 31 - .
  • Cassini, Iapetus Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 January 14 - .
  • Huygens Probe Lands on Titan, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 January 14 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 February 15 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 February 17 - .
  • Cassini, Enceladus Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 March 9 - .
  • Cassini, Enceladus & Tethys Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 March 31 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 April 16 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 May 21 - .
  • Cassini, Enceladus Non-Targeted Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 July 14 - .
  • Cassini, Enceladus Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 August 2 - .
  • Cassini, Mimas Non-Targeted Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 August 22 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 September 7 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 September 24 - .
  • Cassini, Tethys Non-Targeted Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 September 26 - .
  • Cassini, Hyperion Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 October 11 - .
  • Cassini, Dione Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 October 28 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 October 28 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby, Successful - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 November 26 - .
  • Cassini, Rhea Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2005 December 26 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 January 15 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 February 27 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 March 19 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 March 31 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 April 30 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 May 20 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 July 2 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 July 22 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 September 7 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 September 23 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 October 9 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

2006 October 25 - .
  • Cassini, Titan Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Cassini.

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