Several countries are a part of the Cassini mission.
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Courtesy of NASA
A spacecraft named Cassini will study the planet Saturn for
several years. Cassini blasted off from
Earth in October 1997. After flying
past Venus, Earth,
and Jupiter, Cassini finally arrived at Saturn on July 1, 2004. Cassini
will study Saturn from orbit for four years.
Cassini is also studying many of Saturn's
moons and the planet's incredible rings. Just
before it got to Saturn, Cassini flew near the moon Phoebe.
It gave us our first close look at that strange moon on June 11, 2004.
NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are the main groups behind the Cassini
mission. Many different countries helped put the spacecraft together. The mission
was named after Giovanni Cassini,
who discovered the Cassini Division in
Saturn's rings and several of Saturn's moons.
Cassini carries over 12 instruments that it is using to study Saturn and
its rings and moons. The main spacecraft also carries a small lander called
Huygens. The Huygens Probe will parachute down
through Titan's atmosphere and land on the strange moon.
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