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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

Cassini's Triumph, Part 1
Hugh Bollinger

Cassini's Triumph, Part 1

Saturn's rings in profile, 2017 (credit: Cassini)

 

Since the original moon landing in 1969, one of the most complex space exploration programs  ever attempted was the Cassini mission to Saturn. The international effort combined the engineering and scientific talents of NASA, the Eureopean Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency, and JPL in California where the spacecraft was designed, built, and launched in 1997. The six ton probe would take seven years to reach its destination at the giant ringed planet first observed by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini in 1672.

Part 1 of Cassini's history is presented on how this adventure began and the obstacles that had to be overcome. The success or failure of the space probe could come down to a single marble-sized pebble when Cassini had to dip under the planet's rings to enter orbit around Saturn. WHB



 

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