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Cassini-Huygens Being Installed on the Payload Adapter

18 Apr 2017, 02:24 UTC
Cassini-Huygens Being Installed on the Payload Adapter
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

NASA dixit:
“July 22, 1997. Flight mechanics from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., lower the Cassini spacecraft onto its launch vehicle adapter in KSC’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The adapter will later be mated to a Titan IV/Centaur expendable launch vehicle that will lift Cassini into space. Scheduled for launch in October, the Cassini mission, a joint US-European four-year orbital surveillance of Saturn’s atmosphere and magnetosphere, its rings, and its moons, seeks insight into the origins and evolution of the early solar system. It will take seven years for the spacecraft to reach Saturn. JPL is managing the Cassini project for NASA.”
“After almost 20 years in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft begins the final chapter of its remarkable story of exploration: its Grand Finale. Between April and September 2017, Cassini will undertake a daring set of orbits that is, in many ways, like a whole new mission. Following a final close flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan, Cassini will leap over the planet’s icy rings and begin a series of 22 weekly dives between the planet and the rings.
No other mission has ever explored this unique region. What we learn from these final orbits will help to ...

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