1 part science
1 part bullshit
The Cassini–Huygens (/ˌkəˈsini ˈhɔɪˌɡəns/) (commonly called Cassini) mission was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.
- 19 years, 335 days
- 13 years, 76 days at Saturn
- En route:
- 6 years, 261 days
- Prime mission:
- 3 years
- Extended missions:
- Equinox: 2 years, 62 days
- Solstice: 6 years, 205 days
- Finale: 4 months, 24 days
Cassini: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Huygens: Alcatel Alenia Space
October 15, 1997, 08:43:00 UTC
Titan IV(401)B B-33
Cost per launch: $432 million (USD) (1999)
Total launches: 39
(IVA: 22, IVB: 17)
$432,000,000 * 39 = $16,848,000,000
LR91-AJ-11 rocket engine
In 1997, a Titan IV-B rocket launched Cassini–Huygens, a pair of probes sent to Saturn. It was the only use of a Titan IV for a non-DOD launch. Cassiniis currently in orbit around Saturn, while Huygenslanded on Titan on January 14, 2005
July 1, 2004, 02:48 UTC
Its mission ended on September 15, 2017, when Cassini was commanded to fly into Saturn’s upper atmosphere and burn up in order to prevent any risk of contaminating Saturn’s moons, some with enviroments potentially bearing life, with stowaway terrestrial microbes.
The mission is widely perceived to have been successful beyond expectation. Cassini-Huygens has been described by NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director as a “mission of firsts”,that has revolutionized human understanding of the Saturn system, including its moons and rings, and our understanding of where life might be found in the Solar System.
The total cost of this scientific exploration mission was about US$3.26 billion, including $1.4 billion for pre-launch development, $704 million for mission operations, $54 million for tracking and $422 million for the launch vehicle. The United States contributed $2.6 billion (80%), the ESA $500 million (15%), and the ASI $160 million (5%). However, these figures are from the press kit which was prepared in October 2000. They do not include inflation over the course of a very long mission, nor do they include the cost of the extended missions.
The Cassini spacecraft was 6.8 meters (22 ft) high and 4 meters (13 ft) wide. Spacecraft complexity was increased by its trajectory (flight path) to Saturn, and by the ambitious science at its destination. Cassinihad 1,630 interconnected electronic components, 22,000 wire connections, and 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) of cabling. The core control computer CPU was a redundant MIL-STD-1750A system. The main propulsion system consisted of one prime and one backup R-4D bipropellant rocket engine. The thrust of each engine was 490 newtons and the total spacecraft delta-v was about 2,040 meters per second. Smaller monopropellant rockets provided attitude control.
The maneuver was successful, with Cassini passing by 1,171 km (728 mi) above the Earth on August 18, 1999.
Cassini made its closest approach to Jupiter on December 30, 2000
A major finding of the flyby, announced on March 6, 2003, was of Jupiter’s atmosp
] The data firmly support Einstein’s general theory of relativity.[ci