Is Cassini still Orbiting Saturn?

No, Cassini Spacecraft ended its mission on September 15, 2017. Cassini was orbiting Saturn for 13 years. It was the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first space probe to enter the orbit of Saturn. Cassini-Huygens is a space mission undertaken in collaboration with 3 different space agencies – NASA (USA), European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful in the IAS Exam.

What is Cassini?

Cassini is a probe developed by NASA, and Huygens is a lander developed by ESA. Cassini-Huygens was launched onboard the launch vehicle Titan IVB/Centaur. It was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. Huygens is the lander which landed on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. Space probe Cassini is named after astronomer Giovanni Cassini and lander Huygens is named after astronomer Christiaan Huygens. Cassini was active for 20 years. Know more on Launch Vehicle on the linked page.

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What happened to the Cassini Spacecraft?

Cassini space probe was launched from Florida in 1997. The journey to Saturn took a duration of 7 years. Cassini entered the Saturns atmosphere and the probe was burnt up due to intense heat it encountered while entering the Saturns upper atmosphere.

What did the Cassini Spacecraft discover?

  1. Found evidence of liquid water on Enceladus. It is one of the moons of Saturn.
  2. Discovered giant methane lake on titan.
  3. Found a huge ring, located 8 Million miles away from Saturn.

How long did it take for Cassini to reach Saturn?

It took Cassini 7 years to reach Saturn. It was launched in the year 1997. The distance travelled by Cassini was 2 billion miles.  Cassini arrived at Saturn in July 2004.

Read in detail about the Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO] on the linked page.

Candidates can go through the following relevant links to prepare for the upcoming UPSC exam even better-

Aditya L-1 (Solar Mission) Reusable Launch Vehicle – Test Demonstrator (RLV-TD) Satellite Launch Vehicle Program – PSLV & GSLV
Juno Mission – NASA Space Probe to Jupiter Exoplanets Militarisation Of Space
Gaganyaan Mission Cartosat – 2 Mars Orbiter Mission
SCATSAT 1 CMS – 01 Satellite IN-SPACe – Private Space Sector in India
Queqiao Satellite BHUVAN – Geo Spatial Data Bhaskara I, India’s First Experimental Remote Sensing
EOS – 01 Satellite | India’s Earth Observing Satellite IRNSS-NAVIC: Navigation with Indian Constellation Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) – Two-way Satellite

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