Mission to Saturn and Titan



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The Cassini-Huyqens Mission to Saturn and Titan Pocket Reference

Postlaunch Update

March 1998

Table of Contents

Program Summary" "."". ".".".".".".".".""".",,.,," " ""." " 1

The Saturn Realm "."."."."" .. ""."." 2

The Scientific I nvestigations " 6

The Mission .. " "." " , " .. " ,., 8

The Cassini Spacecraft. " " 13

The Huygens Probe " 1 6

Th e Sci e ntific Ins tru me nts 2 0

The Power Source " .. ".24

The Launch Rocket " 26

Miss ion and Science Operations " " 2.8

Public Outreach " 30

NASAlJPL "."." " 32

European Space Agency (ESA) 33

Italian Space Agency (ASI}. 34

Amazing Facts " "." " " " 35

P hysical Constants 37

Saturn's Moons: Pho netics and Mythology ".39

Cassini Program Staff 40

Printed in USA. Copyright 1998, Califomia Institute of Technology. All rights reserved"

Program Summary

On October 15, 1997, a two-story-tall robotic spacecraft began a journey of nearly 7 years to reach, and 4 additional years to explore, the exciting Saturn realm. This vast planetary system contains magnificent rings encircling the planet, a huge magnetosphere teemi ng with particles, many icy satellites, and the large moon Titan (known to possess a dense atmosphere and believed to have a ta n ta lizing su rfa ce).

The Cassini-Huygens mission is an international venture involving the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and several separate European academic and industrial partners. The mission is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California The large spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter and attached ESA Titan probe, carries scientific sensors to support 27 different investigations.

The mission is named in honor of the French-Italian astronomer Jean Dominique Cassini, with the Titan probe named in honor pi the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens. Benefits from Ihe Cassini Program include international cooperation, new technology, and future discoveries that will inspire young and old alike to contemplate issues rangi.ng from the origin 01 the solar system 10 that of life itself.


The Saturn Realm

The Cassini-Huygens rmssson will concentrate its scientific investigations on studies of the atmosphere and interior of Saturn, the atmosphere and surface of Titan, the rings of Saturn, the magnetosphere of Saturn, and the surfaces of the icy satellites of Saturn. Some salient facts about each and the questions to be addressed by Cassini are given below.

Saturn - This second largest of the solar system planets is a giant gas planet with no well-defined surface beneath the clouds. Its upper atmosphere is primarily hydrogen and helium. The visible douds are composed of ammonia ice crystals. Easterly winds blow at speeds of up to 500 mls (11 00 m ilh r) nea r the equator. How constant and how symmetric are they? How do they vary with altitude? Do they extend deep into the interior? How did Saturn form? Is there lightning?


Titan - Titan is the only known moon with a thick atmosphere. Like Earth, Titan's atmosphere is mainly nitrogen. A high haze !ayer hides the surtace from visible light What is the surface like? Are there lakes of liquid ethane and methane? Do craters exist? What is the nature of the bright infrared continent-sized feature? How much sunlight reaches the surface? Could life develop there?

Rings - Saturn's main ring system extends 60,000 km (37,000 mil above the cloud tops. The tenuous E Ring extends another 250,000 km (150,000 m i) outward. The rings are mainly water ice. Many of their features are caused by the gravitational tug of nearby moons. What causes the radial "spokes"? How do the ring particles interact with each other? Are there more moons hidden there? Howald are the rings? What is their source? How do they interact with the magnetic field?


Magnetosphere - Surrounding Saturn and most of its moons is an enormous magnetic bubble caused by Saturn's internal magnet. Trapped in that bubble are electrically charged particles, and lowfrequency radio and plasma waves. What are the source regions for these radio emissions? How well is the magnetic field aligned with the rotation axis? What do these tell us about Saturn's interior?

Satellites - In addition to Titan, Saturn is circled by 17 known "icy" moons. Two of the more interesting moons are Enceladus and Iapetus. Enceladus is as reflective as fresh snow. Iapetus has a dark leading hemisphere and a bright trailing hemisphere. What causes these differences? Does Enceladus have water volcanoes? What is the makeup of the moons? Howald are their surfaces?

Two 01 Saturn's Many I.cy Satellites


The Scientificlnvesti gations Cassini Orbiter

Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) [D. Young (PI), SwRI,. San Antonioj-In situ study of plasma within and near Saturn's magnetic field

Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) [E. Gruen (P.I), MPI·K, Heidelberg] - In situ study of ice and dust grains in the Saturn system

Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) [V. Kunde (PI), NASA·GSFC, Greenbelt] • Temperature and composition of surfaces, atmospheres, and rings

Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) [H. Waite (TL) , SwRt, San Antonio] • In situ compositions of neutral and charged particles in the magnetosphere

Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) (C. Porco (TLl, U Ariz, Tucson] - Multispectral imag.ing of Saturn and its rings and satellites to observe their properties

Dual Technique Magnetometer (MAG) [D. Southwood (PI), Imperial C, london)- Study of Saturn's magnetic field and interactions with the solar wind

Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI) IS. Krimigis (PI), APl, Laurel] - Global magnetospheric imaging and in situ measurements of the magnetosphere

Cassini Radar (RADAR) [C. Elachi (Tl), JPl, Pasadena] - Radar imaging, altimetry, and passive radiometry of Titan's surface

Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) [D. Gumett (PI), U Iowa, Iowa City] - Electric and magnetic fields and electron density and temperature m easuremenls

Radio Science Subsystem (RSS) [A. Kliore (Tl), JPL, Pasadena] . Study of atmospheric and ring structure, gravity fields, and gravitational waves

UVlmaginq Spectrograph (UVIS) [l. Esposito (PI), U Colo, Boulder] • Spectra and imaging of atmospheres and rings for structure, chemistry, and composition

Visible and InfraredMapping Spectrometer (VIMS) [A. Brown (TL), U Ariz, Tucson] - Spectral maps for composition/structure of surfaces/atmospheres/rings


Interdisciplinary Science (IDS) on the Cassini Orbiter

Magnetosphere and Plasma [M. Blanc (IDS). Obs Midi-Pyrenees, Toulouse] - Study of plasma circulation and magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling

Rings and Dust [J. Cuzzi (IDS), NASA-ARC, Moffett Field]- Study of rings and dust within the Saturn system Magnetosphere and Plasma [T. Gombosi (IDS), U Mi.ch, Ann Arbor] - Study of the plasma environment in Saturn's magnetosphere

Atmospheres [T. Owen (IDS), U Hawaii, Honolulu] - Study of the atmospheres of Titan and Saturn Satellites [L. Soderblom (IDS), USGS, Flagstaff]- Study of the satellites of Saturn

Aeronorny and Solar Wind Interaction [D. Strobel (IDS), JHU, Baltimore]- Study of aeronomy in the Titan and Saturn atmospheres

Huygens Probe

Aerosol Collector and Pyrolyser (ACP) [G. Israel (PI), CNRS, Verrieres-le-Buisson] - In situ study of clouds and aerosols in the Titan atmosphere

Descent Imager and Spectral Radiometer (OISR) [M. Tomasko (PI). U Ariz, Tucson] - Temperatures and images of Titan's atmospheric aerosols and surface

Doppler Wind Experiment (OWE) [M. Bird (PI), U Bonn, Bonn]- Study of winds from their effect on the probe Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) [H. Niemann (PI.), NASA-GSFC, Greenbelt]- Cornposifion of gases and aerosols in Titan's atmosphere

Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument (HASI) [M. Ful.chignoni (PI), Obs deParis, Meudon] - Study of Titan atmospheric physical, electrical properties

Surface Science Package (SSP) [J. Zarnecki (PI), U Kent, Canterbury] Interdisciplinary Science (IDS) on the Huygens Probe

Titan Aeronomy [D. Gautier (IDS), Obs de Paris, Meudon] - Study of aeronomy of Titan's atmosphere Titan Atmosphere-Surface Interactions [J, Lunine (IDS), U Miz, Tucson]

Titan Organic Chemistrv [F. Raulin (IDS), U Paris, Val de Marne] - Study of Titan's chemistry and exobiology


The Mission

On October 15, 1997, at 4:43 a.m.

EDT, the Cassini spacecraft was launched to Saturn on a Venus-Venus-Earth-JupiterGravity-Assist (WEJGA) trajectory. These planetary swingbys reduce launch energy requirements and enable Cassini to be launched by the Titan IVB/Centaur. There are no existing launch vehicles to launch Cassini on a direct trajectory to Saturn. Planetary phasing restricted the launch period to Oct. 6 through Nov. 15. If for any reason Cass.ini had been unable to launch during this period, there was a secondary launch opportunity using a Venus-EarthEarth-Gravity-Assist (VEEGA) trajectory from Nov. 28 to Jan. 11. The fortuitous geometry of the VVEJGA trajectory allows the second Venus and .Earth swingbys to occur within two months of each other. This reduces the total flight time to Saturn to 6.7 years, arriving at Saturn on July 1, 2004.

During the cruise to Saturn, instrument checkouts, calibrations, deployments, and

maintenance are planned. Science data collection may be allowed on a selective basis during en route planetary swingbys. The high-gain antenna (HGA) will be Sunpointed during the inner solar system cruise to provide thermal protection for the spacecraft, with the low-qain antenna (LGA) used for communications. At 14 months after launch, the Sun and Earth are closely aligned so that the HGA may be Earth· pointed for about 25 days to allow transmission at high data rates. During this time, a checkout of the instruments will be performed. Six months after Earth swingby, the HGA can be continuously Earth-pointed as Cassini heads for the outer solar system. Probe checkouts will be performed about every six months. Science observations will begin two years away from Saturn. Following the Jupiter flyby, the spacecraft will be used in an attempt to detect gravitational waves using its Ka-band and X· band radio equipment during solar oppositions. Experiments will be performed


during solar conjunctions to study the solar corona and to perform tests of genera.1 rela tiv ity.

Three weeks before arriving at Saturn, Cassini will fly by Phoebe, the outermost icy satellite of Saturn. Upon arrival at Saturn, Cassini will make a close flyby of the planet and execute a Saturn orbit insertion (SOl) maneuver to initiate a highly elliptical 148~ day orbit around the planet. This orbit sets up the geometry for the first encounter with Titan for the Huygens probe mission on November 27, 2004. About 22 days before this encounter, the orbiter turns to orient the probe to its entry attitude, spins it up, and releases it. Two days after separation, the orbiter performs a maneuver to ensure that the orbiter will not follow the probe into Titan's atmosphere and to establish the

proper geometry for the probe data relay link for the probe's 2 to 2112 hour descent through Titan's atmosphere.

The satellite tour phase of the mission begins at probe mission completion and ends four years after SOl. During this phase, the orbiter makes about six dozen orbits about Saturn. Precision navigation will be used to achieve more than 40 close encounters with Titan and at least five close encounters with icy moons, such as Enceladus and Iapetus. Through the use of Titan gravity assists, Cassini's orbits will be varied in inclination and orientation about Saturn. This will provide excellent opportunities for studying Saturn, its rings, and the huge but invisible magnetosphere of energetic particles trapped by Saturn's magnetic field.




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Mission Event

Calendar Date


Venus 1 Swingby

Deep Space Maneuver High-GaIn Antenna Opportunity Venus 2 Swingby

Earth Swingby

Asteroid Belt Crossing

High-Gain Antenna Earth-Pointed Jupiter Swingby

Gravity Wave Experlment Conjunction Experiment Cruise Science On Gravity Wave Experiment Conj unction Experiment Gravity Wave Experiment Phoebe Flyby .

Saturn Orbit Insertion Maneuver Periapsis Raise Maneuver

Probe Separation

Orbiter Deflection Maneuver Probe Entry

October 15, 1997 April. 26,1998 December 3,1998 December 16, 1.998 - January 10,.1999 June 24,1999 August 18,1999 December 12, 1999 - April 1 0, 2000 February 1,2000 December 30, 2000 November 26., 2001 - January 5, 2002 June 7, 2.002 - July 7, 2002 July .2, .2002 December 7,2.002 - January 16,2003 June 17,. 2003 - July 17, 2003 December 15, 2003- January 24, 2004 June 11, 2004 July 1,2004 September 25, 2004 November 6, 2004 November 8, 2004 November 27, 2004

E.nd Of Mission

July 01, 2008



The Cassini Spacecraft

The Cassini orbiter is the largest and most sophisticated outer planet spacecraft ever built. At 5574 kg in mass, of which 3132 kg is liq uid propel! ant, Ca ssi n i carri es the Huygens Titan probe and twelve scientific instruments to its rendezvous with the Saturn system. This precision-engineered vehicle provides its body-fixed payload with the state-of-the-art support services of telecommunications, data handling, pointing and stabilization, power, and sequencing necessary to accomplish its mission. The orbiter is designed to be robust to internal failures, tolerant of a wide range of solar input, and electromagnetically quiet, and is built according to proven longlife design practices.

Cassini's three Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) provide the electrical power to operate the orbiter's engineering and science instrument subsystems during the mission. This power is

distributed via 192 solid-state power switches which, in addition to providing on/off control, also serve as resettable circuit breakers. Sequence commands are received from the ground via the 4-mdiameter high-gain antenna and stored for subsequent execution in the orbiter's central computer. The sequence controls the operation of the instruments, the pointing of the spacecraft, and the recording and playback of engineering and science data.

Attitude control is maintained by a dedicated computer which continually propagates up to 50 vectors to a variety of objects like the Sun, Earth, and Saturn and its satellites. When commanded to align the look direction of a camera to one of these objects, the computer commands the system's reaction wheels to apply the necessary torques to reorient Cassini to achieve the desired pointing. Once the picture is taken, the computer is ready for its next instruction.


Data acquired during the tour and the probe relay are stored in two solid-state recorders (SSRs). For playback, the highgain antenna is pointed. at the Earth and the data are transmitted.

Cassini's mechanical design is very efficient. Only about 10% of the spacecraft's dry mass is devoted to primary structure. The thermal design relies on the heat generated by the subassemblies to maintain near room temperature. Multilayer th ermal ins ula tion, tern perature-op erated louvers, and a small number of heaters are used to restrict the total range of expected temperatures.

The orbiter is designed to be single fault tolerant; virtually all the electronics are block redundant. Long communication paths during the mission require that the system be able to isolate and recover from failures autonomously, especially when a critical event like probe relay or SOl is occurring. This autonomy, commonly known as fault protection, is implemented largely in


Cassini"s onboard software and performs the tasks of problem detection, fault isolation, and redundancy management.

CASSINI SPACECRAFT Cruise Configuration

Spacecraft Characteristics

-875 watts after launch,

-695 watts at end of mission

4 Gbits

2.0 mrad

0.036 mrad over 5 sec 3700 stars

12 26

Spacecraft Power

Data Storage Pointing Accuracy Pointing Stability Star Catalog

Number of Engineering Subsystems

Number of EngineerIng Computers HeIght

Primary SIW Language Parts Count Transmitter Power Data Rate at Saturn Main Engine Thrust Transmitter Frequency

Number of Telemetry Measurements

6.8 meters

Ada (>330,.000 LOC) >100,000

19 watts (RF) 140,000 bits/s 445 newtons X-band 11,000


The Huygens Probe

Huygens is designed to study the atmosphere and surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, by conducting detailed in-situ measurements of the physical properties, chemical composition and dynamics of the atmosphere, and local characterization of the surface.

Huygens is a fully instrumented robotic laboratory, designed to enter Titan's atmosphere using a heat shield and a series of parachutes to slow the probe's descent. The main scientific measurements are made during the parachute descent, but some will be made on entry into the atmosphere. There will be enough power for the probe to take measurements for up to 30 minutes at the surface of Titan, should it survive the landing. In addition to the probe itself, there is the probe support equipment which remains attached to the orbiter after probe separation. Huygens has a cocoon, called the Entry Assembly (ENA), which attaches to the orbiter

and, on separation, cuts the electrical connections between the probe and the orbiter. It provides cruise and atmospheric entry thermal protection and initial entry deceleration control. The ENA is jettisoned after entry, releasing the Descent Module (OM), comprised of an aluminum shell and inner structure containing all the experiments and probe subsystems.

Huygens separates from the orbiter with a spi n rate of 7 rpm for stabil ity. The front heat shield protects the probe as it decelerates from about 6 kmls to 400 mls in less than 2 min utes on entering Titan's atmosphere. A pilot chute then pulls away 1he aft cover and deploys the 8.3-m-diameter main parachute. Shortly thereafter, the front heat shield is jettisoned. After 15 min utes, the main chute is jettisoned and the 3-m descent parachute is deployed, allowing the descent module to reach the ground in 2.5 hours, conducting experiments and relaying data all the way.



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The Cassini Mural


The Scientific Instruments

Cassini carries eighteen scientific instruments, twelve on the orbiter and six on the probe. Most of the instruments contain multiple sensors that provide scientific data; there are sixty-six sensors. The instru ments range in mass from the Doppler Wind Experiment (OWE,. 1,9 .kg) to thelmag.ing Science Subsystem (ISS, 61,1 kg) and in power from the Dual Technique Magne~ tometer (MAG, 13 watts) to the Cassini Radar (RADAR, 108 watts). The total mass of the orbiter instruments is 360.3 kg; that of the probe instruments is 43,8 kg,

The instruments can be classified into three groups: orbiter optical and microwave remote sensing, orbiter fields and particles, and Titan prabe instruments.

Orbiter Optical and Microwave Remote Sensing: The Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrameter (VIMS), Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CrRS), and Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) provide imagery and

spectrometry and are mounted on the Remote Sensing Pallet, illustrated on page 22. Each instrument is made up of assernblies incorporating such elements as lenses, mirrors, filters, gratings, shutters, telescopes,interferometers, and several types of detectors, RADAR uses the large spacecraft antenna to image Titan's surface and measure its altitudes and temperature. The Radio Science Subsystem (RSS) uses the antenna for radio links between orbiter and Earth to obtain information about Saturn and Titan atmospheres and ionospheres, the rings, and gravity fields, Orbiter instruments are body mounted, so these six instruments are pointed toward objects of interest by turning the spacecraft.

Orbiter Fields, Particles and Waves:

The Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS), Cosmic Dust Analyzer (COA), Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS), and two Magnetospheric Imag.ing Instrument (MIMI) sensors are on the Fields and Particles Panel. The MAG instrument is on an tt-rneter boom,


The Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument has several assemblies, including three antennas 10 meters long. These six instruments measure electromagnetic fields and properties of pia_sma, energetic particles, and dust particles. CAPS, MIMI, and CDA have sensors that rotate to point to areas of interest. Instrument technolog.ies include two different magnetometers, a magnetic search coil, a Langmuir probe. electrostatic deflectors, various ion and electron detectors, and a mass spectrom eter. MIMI will obtain remote images of Saturn's magnetosphere by observing energetic neutral particles that it emits. INMS will determine the chemical composition of Titan's upper atmosphere and ionosphere as the orbiter dips through them during its close flybys of that satellite.

Probe Instruments: The Huygens probe will carry six instruments through Titan's

atmosphere to its surface: the Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument (HAS I.)., Aerosol Collector Pyrolyser (ACP), Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GCMS), Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer (DISR), Doppler Wind Experiment (OWE), and Surface Science Package (SSP). During the 2112 hours it takes for the Huygens probe to descend, the thirty-nine sensors of these instruments will study physical properties and composition of Titan's atmosphere and surface. Optical sensors will obtain images of clouds and surface. Visible and infrared spectrometers, a mass spectrometer, an altimeter, accel.erometers, a sounder, plus acoustic, temperature, density, and pressure sensors will provide other information. Radio Doppler measurements between probe and orbiter will furnish wind profiles. Surface sensors will measure impact acceleration, thermal, and electrical properties.










Cassini~H uygens Instruments

Cassini P~ak Data
Orbiter Mass, Power, Rate,
Instrument a !sg W kb/s
CAPS 21.4 17 16.0
CDA 16.7 20 0.5
CIRS 44.3 3.2 6.0
INMS b 13.0 31 1.5
ISS C 61.1 71 366.0
MAG 9.8 13 2.0
MIMI 28.5 26 8.0
RADARd 56.7 108 365.0
RPWS 37.4 18 370.0
RSSd 15.5 89 0.0
UVIS 16.0 14 31.0
VIMSd 40.1 29 183.0 Max.
Huygens PeCl_k Data
Probe Mass, Power, Hate,
Instrument a !sg W kb/s
ACP 6.3 85 0.128
DISR 8.1 60 4 . .800
OWE 1.9 18 0.010
GCMS 17.3 73 0.960
HASI 6.3 85 0.896
SSP 3.9 11 0.704 11 Unless otherwise Indicated, instruments are provided by Principal Investigator.

b Provided by Goddard Space Flight Center ..

C Provided by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

d Provided by JPL and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana.


The Power Source

Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) are lightweight, compact spacecraft power systems that are extraordinarily reliable. RTGs are not nuclear reactors and have no moving parts. They use neither fission nor fusion processes to produce energy. Instead, they provide power through the natural radioactive decay of plutonium (mostly Pu~238, a non-weaponsgrade isotope). The heat generated by this natural process is changed into electricity by solid-state thermoelectric converters.

RTGs enable spacecraft to operate at significant distances from the Sun orin other areas where solar power systems would be infeasible. They are the only viable power source for Cassini. Even the most efficient solar cells would be too

massive to launch. Twenty-five U.S. spacecraft (including Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini) have used RTGs. The RTGs are produced by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The RTG fuel is enclosed in multiple protective layers, The chance of a reentry during the Earth swingby is less than 1 in1 million, largely the result of trajectory control biasing until shortly before the swing by. In the remote chance that a reentry with a release were to occur, the average radiation dose that a person could receive is less than 1 millirem total over 50 years. This small radiation dose is indistinguishable when compared to the 15,000 mHlirem dose a person will receive (over that same 50 year period) from natural background radiation.




Cutaway of General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) contained in Cassini RTGs








The Launch Rocket

The Titan IVB/Centaur rocket is the latest in the series of Titan launch vehicles and upper stages developed by LockheedMartin' for the U.S. Air Force (NASA Lewis Research Center managed the Centaur upper stage for the Cassini Program). It consists of several independent modules. The Titan IVB boost vehicle acts as the lower stage and comprises two large, hiqhthrust, strap-on solid rocket motors and two stages of liquid propellant rockets. The Centaur upper stage uses cryogenic (supercold) liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Protecting the Centaur and spacecraft from aerodynamic forces and heating loads is the function of the payload fairing, which unfolds and separates into three pieces. The completely assembled rocket stands nearly as high as a 20 story building, develops up to 15 million newtons (3.4 million pounds) of thrust, carries 0.9 million

kilograms (2 million pounds) of propellant, and has a total launch mass of 1 million ki.lograms (2.2 million pounds)!

The Titan IVB/Centaur is about as tall as the space shuttle and about half as high as the Apollo/Saturn V rocket that carried astronauts into orbit around the moon. The Titan IVB/Centaur is capable of placing a 5,.770 kilogram (12,700 pound) payload, or approximately the mass of a school bus, into geostationary orbit 35,700 kilometers (22,200 mites) above the surface of the Earth.

On launch day, the Titan IVB and Centaur upper stage performed flawlessly, provi.ding the spacecraft with a nearly perfect trajectory. The error in departure energy was only one part in 5.,545, with the first trajectory correction maneuver on November 9, 1997, expending just 2.7 m/s (about 1/4 of the accuracy specification placed on the launch vehicle performance).



Mission and Science Operations

The Cassini Program's Mission and Science Operations (MSO) organization is responsible for operating the Cassini spacecraft, both during interplanetary cruise and while orbiting Saturn, and delivering the Huygens probe to Titan. MSO provides the technical expertise needed to keep the spacecraft healthy and on the proper trajectory.

To communicate with the spacecraft, the MSO employs NASA's worldwide Deep Space Network (DSN) and data systems at JPL. MSO also provides a Distributed Operations system to serve scientists at many institutions around the United States and in other countries. The use of teleconferences, hiqh-speed data lines, and voice nets permits the scientists to manage their instruments on Cassini and Huygens, and to receive data from them, without having to leave home.

MSO's functions can generally be described as uplink and downlink. Uplink

deals with radio signals sent "up" to Cassini. In a larger sense,itincludes the whole process of planning and deciding exactly how to operate the spacecraft. Members of the MSO translate those decisions into sequences of commands, which are reviewed, tested, and then delivered to the spacecraft via the DSN. As an example, some commands uplinked and stored on the spacecraft may cause it to rotate, pointing its optical instruments to a target of interest.

Downlink, meaning radio signals sent "down" from the spacecraft, also includes thelarg er process of collecting , distributing j storing, and archiving the data. It also involves doing analysis on the data. Engineers analyze downlinked "engineering data" (such as temperatures, and electrical power used by components on board) to plan for any commands needed to maintain the spacecraft's health and safety. On the other hand, scientists analyze the "science data" returned from the many instruments


on board, eventually publishing their findings in the technical literature and in the public media. This, of course,is the whole reason for flying to Saturn.

Uplink and downlink work together, too.

Navigators uplink "ranging" symbols to the spacecraft, which downlinks them right away. By measuring their exact round-trip time, and by repeating the process from the various DSN locations on Earth, the navigators can locate the spacecraft with tremendous precision. Navigators also use the Doppler effect, uplinking a precisely known frequency, which the spacecraft uses to set the frequency for its downlink. When received on Earth, the change in frequency reveals the spacecraft's speed toward or away from Earth.

Arrival at Saturn win be an exciting time. As usual, Cassini will be executing sequences of stored commands which the MSO has prepared. But there will be only

one opportunity for Cassin; to fire its rocket engine and brake into orbit. Five months later, the Huygens probe will be executing its brief mission in Titan's atmosphere, and it will be depending on Cassini to capture and relay its precious data back to Eart.h. MSO will in turn relay the probe's data to the Huygens Probe Operations Center (HPOC) in Germany, for review and analysis by the ESA scientists.

For Cassini's entire mission, the MSO will be striving to reduce the costs of operations, finding ways to work smarter. One of the innovations MSO is using for Cassini is the creation of "virtual" teams that assemble the necessary expertise to plan and execute portions of the mission and then disband until needed again. MSO plays a critical part in making the very most of this unique opportunity for the international community to explore, in depth, the distant and mysterious Saturnian system.


Public Outreach

The Cassini Program has produced posters, brochures, fact sheets, responses to queries, slide sets, videos, newsletters, a Cassini/Saturn teacher's guide, large spacecraft holograms and public display materials, a first-class worldwide website (featured in Newsweek magazine), a significant and inspirational signatures-fromEarth project (see the Amazing Facts section), an B-image ector postcard set, a prelaunch and postlaunch Pocket Reference, and a special NASA science publication that summarizes what we know and hope to learn from the Cassini-Huygens mission.

Cassini personnel have given hundreds of presentations to both scientific and lay audiences. Teacher workshops are held, along with informative displays, at the National Science Teachers Association (NST A) conventions.

Planned for a 199B release are tINO educational, interactive CD-ROMs (one called "Ways of Seeing" about how sensors work to detect things, a second about the vast Saturn system and its science; both conform to national science education standards). Also planned, in cooperation with the Paris Observatory in France, is a pamphlet that contrasts 400 years of discovery and exploration technology from the early 17th century to the CassiniHuygens mission in 2004-2008. Finally, a photon journey "edutainment" animated film is being produced that will follow the voyage of photon "characters" from the Sun to Saturn to the Cassini spacecraft to Earth and finally into the mind of a young person. For more information about these products, visit our website at:





The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created in 1958 to lead the U.S: into the space age. Nearly four decades later, NASA's mission remains a national goal., even in a climate of reduced budgets.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) began as an outgrowth of the California Institute of Technology's graduate,program in aeronautics, with Dr, Theodore von Karman and his students conducting rocket experiments in a dry riverbed in Pasadena, California, back in the 1930s. After a brief period under the Army and then NACA administration,JPL was transferred to NASA on its creation.

JPL's task is to conduct challenging robotic space missions that will continue to

expand the frontiers of space and inspire the world. The Laboratory is committed to focusing its talents and resources in science, technology, and engineering on achieving that

which no one has done before, "

For NASA, JPL's mission is to: -Explore our solar system

-Expand our knowledge of the universe

-Further our understanding of Earth from the

perspective of space

-Pave the way for human exploration

-Apply our special capabilities to technical

and scientific problems of national significance

- Establish a presence throughout the solar system and accelerate our understanding of Earth's environment and the universe through small, frequent, low-cost missions.


European Space Agency (ESA)

ESA came into existence in 1975,. replacing the European Space Research Organization and the European Launcher Development Organization. Its purposes are exclusively peaceful.

Fourteen countries are members of ESA:. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Canada is a "cooperating state."

As a driving force, ESA draws up a European space plan that spans the fields of science, Earth observation, telecommunications, space segment technologies including in-orbit stations and platforms, ground infrastructures, and spacelransport

systems, as well as microgravity research.

Besides its Headquarters in Paris, ESA has a number of establishments (ESTEC, ESOC, ESRIN, and EAC), as well as a launch base at Kourou in French Guiana. ESTEC, which is the largest establishment, is the nerve center forlhe Agency's activities and is responsible for Ihe technical preparation and management of ESA space projects. It is also the home of ESA's Space Science Department and provides the link between ESA and the "outside scientists" whose instruments and experiments are flown on ESA spacecraft.

The Titan probe was selected by ESA's Science Program Committee in November 1988 and named Huygens in honor of the discoverer of Titan.


Italian Space Agency (ASI)

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a joint NASA, ESA, and ASI program. For this mission, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the United States and Italy stating roles and duties. The Italian Space Agency has established a Program Office (PO) for the technical and programmatic management with managers and experts from Rome HQ and CGS of Matera. The PO has managed the hardware development and the relationships with international partners and members of the scientific community.

A large part of the Italian scientific community is involved in the Cassini mission: 9 major scientific institutions provide their contribution to the mission: the Universities of Rome, Naples, Padua, Aquila, Pavia, and Bari, and the Institute of Space Astrophysics, Interplanetary Space, and the National Research Council of Radio Astronomy.

ASI has issued two industrial production contracts, one to Alenia Aereospazio for

the design, rna nufacture, and test of the HighGain/Low-Gain Antenna, the Radio Frequency Electronics Subsystem of the Radar, and the Radio Frequency Instrument Subsystem (with subcontracts to FIAR, C. Gavazzi Space, and Top-Rei), and one to Officine Galileo, for the design, manufacture, and test of the visible channel of VIMS and HASI.

Other Italian industrial partners have provided high technology products to JPL and ESA under direct contracts.




Amazing Facts

The total mission effort expended will exceed 20,000 work-years, or roughly 2/3 what it took to build the Great Pyramid at Giza. Nearly 5,000 people have worked on Cassini at one time or another. The spacecraft is the size and weight of an empty 30- passenger school bus. It contains 12 km of wire and 58 computers. The gravity-assist gains of 22 kmls for cruise and 35 kmls for the Saturn tour would not be possible using normal rocket eng.ines without consuming millions of kilograms of fuel. The swingbys of Venus and Earth alone save the equivalent of 75 tonnes of fuel. Cassini is designed to withstand the heat of 2.7 Suns .. Cassini will travel 3.5 billion kilometers to reach Saturn and another 204 billion kilometers during its 4-year tour. The spacecraft will reach a maximum planetrelative speed of 112,700 kmlh just beta re it

fires its main rocket engine to brake into orbit about Saturn. The narrow-angle camera can read a newspaper headline at a distance of nearly 1.6 kilometers, The spacecraft is so steady when pointing its instruments that its rate of movement is 100 times less than a clock's hour hand. Over two trillion bits of data will be returned, equivalent to 2,400 sets of the Encyclopaedi.a Britannica. All of this information is received by large radio telescopes that must capture a signal whose power level is only 20 billionths of a billionth of one watt. Each of three 70-meter Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas used to receive the signal has a dish whose area is as large as a football field. The signal typically takes at least an hour to reach the Earth from Saturn. The spacecraft will be carrying a small Oig.ital Versatile Disk (DVD) containing 616,400 signatures from 81 different countries.



Physical Constants GENERAL FACTS

Mean distance from Sun (AU) (millions of km) (millions of miles) Orbital period (years) Diameter (krn) (Equator) (Polar) Mass (Earth == 1) Density (tlml\3) Gravity (Earth « 1) Rotation period Orbit inclination (degrees) MAGNETOSPHERE

Field strength at Equator (gauss) Dipole tilt to rotational axis (degrees) Distance to sunward "nose" of magnetosphere (radii)

9 .. 555 1429.4 888.2 29.42 120,660 107,629 95.159

0.70 1 .. 06 10 h 40 m 2 .. 5

RINGS (all in km)

o inner edge outer edge Cinneredge outer edge B inner edge outer edge Cassini Division A inner edge outer edge Finneredge outer edge Ginneredge outer edge Einneredge outer edge

66,970 74,510 74,510 92,000 92,000


121,867 136,346 140,180 140,230 170,.180 variable 181,000 483,000





Distance Diameter Mass
Satellite (000 km) (km) (Moon = 1) Discoverer Date
Pan 134 20 ? Showalter 1990
Atlas 138 37x34Ax26.4 ? Voyager 1980
Prometheus 139 148x100x68 5.05E~06 Voyager 1980
Pandora 142 110x88x62 4 .. 11 E-06 Voyager 1980
Epimetheus 151 138x11 Ox11 0 1 .. 05E-05 Walker 1980
Janus 151 194x190x154 3.76E-05 Dollfus 1966
Mimas 186 418.2x392Ax382.8 7. .. 10E-04 Herschel 1789
Enceladus 238 512.6x494.4x489.2 1.57E-03 Herschel 1789
Tethys 295 1071x1056x1051 1A1 E-02 Cassini 1684
Telesto 295 30x25x15 ? Reitsema 1geO
Calypso 295 30x16x16 ? Pascu 1980
Dione 377 1120 1.96E-02 Cassin; 1684
Helene 378 35 ? Laques 1980
Rhea 527 1528 4.65E-02 Cassini 1672
Titan 1222 5150 2.52E+00 Huygens 1655
Hyperion 1481 350x280x225 3.31 E-04 Bond 1848
Iapetus 3561 1436 3.51 E-02 Cassini 1671
Phoebe 12952 230x220x21 a 7A8E-05 Pickering 1898 38

Saturn's Moons: Phonetics and Mythology



Origin in Greek Mythology

One of the immortal giants known as Titans, held the Earth on his


An immortal nymph, her name means "I hide," lell in love with Odysseus An immortal ocean nymph, mother of the goddess Aphrodite

A giant with serpents for teat, buried alive by the goddess Athena under


Epimelheus epp-ee-MEE-thee-us An immortal Titan, a judge of the dead, brother 01 Prometheus

Helene heh-LEEN Helen of Troy, sister 01 the Gemini Twins

Hyperion high-PEER-ee-on A Titan, father of the pre-Olympian gods Hellos (Sun) and Selene (Moon)

iapetus eye-AP-eh-tuss A Titan, father of Atlas, Epimefheus, and Prometheus

Janus JANE-us Son of the god Apollo, a king of ancient Italy

Mimas MY-muss A giant killed by the god. Hephaeslus and transformed into a rock hill

Pan Pan God of nature and the forest, a satyr

Pandora pan-DOR-ah A girl whose curiosity released evil and hope into the world

Phoebe FEE-bee Another name lor Artemis, the Olympian goddess of the Moon,forests,

and wi!dli.fe, sister of Apollo

Prometheus pro-MEE-thee-us A Titan, a judge of the dead, gave the gift of fire to humankind

Rhea Ree-uh Molher 01 the Olympian qods, wife of the god Cronos (called Saturn by

the Romans)

A muse (minor goddess), little is known about her

An immortal Titan, Queen of the Sea, mother of sea and river nymphs The name of immortal giants who existed belore the Olympian gods




Calypso kal-IP-so

Dione die-OH-nee

Encelad us n-s ELL - uh-duss

Telesto Tethys Titan

tell-ESS-toe TEE-thiss TIE-tan

Cassini Program Staff NASA Program Director NASA Program Scientist Cassini Program Manager


Deputy Cassini Program

Manager (JPL)

Huygens Project Manager ASI Program Manager

Cassini Project Scientist Huygens Probe Scientist Deputy Cassini Project


Science and Mission Design

(SAMD) Manager C. E. Kohlhase

Science Manager E. Miner

Spacecraft Office (SCO)


SCO Development Manager SCO Integration Manager Science Instrument Manager Huygens Probe Integration Program Secretary

Mission and Science Operations

E. Huckins, III H, Brinton

R Spehalski

R Draper H. Hassan E. Flamini D. Matson J.~P, Lebreton

L. Spilker

T. Gavin C. Jones G. Parker

W. Fawcett D. Kindt B. Short

(MSO) Office Manager MSO Development Manager MSO Operations Manager Office of Engineering and

Technology Development (DOE) B. Cook Launch Vehicle System Manager (LeRC) Expendable Vehicles Office

(KSC) F. Curington

Program Engineering Office C, J. Leising

Planning, Assessment,. and

Integration and Launch Approval Engineering Product Assurance {PAl

Manager PA Deputies Safety Office Administration Office Contracts

Titan System Program Office

(USAF) Col. G, Norton

5th Space Launch Squadron

Commander, 45th Space

Wing (USAF) U. Col. E, Thomas

P. Doms J. Gunn

A, Tavormina

H, Wimmer

R Wilcox

R. Brace G. Oreanlas/K. Evans

J. Lumsden S, Barber D, Spencer


Edited by Charles Kohlhase and Craig Peterson

Cover illustration by Davi.d Seal. DVe cover design by Charles Kohlhase.

Ackn owledgments:

The editors wish to thank the following individuals for their contributions.

S. Dawson R. Diehl

D. Doody S. Edberg

E. Flamini L. Harrell L.Jaffe

C. Jones

D. Kindt

C. J. Leising J. Mellors

E. Miner

M. B. Murrill L. Paul

R. Wilcox



ogenzio spozioJe itoliano

europeanspace agency agence spatia'ie europeenne

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Jet Propulsion Labo.ratory California Institute of Technology

Lewis Research Center

U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Department of the Air Force

JPl40Q-711, Rev. A 3198