Thursday, July 01, 2004
Cassini Slips Into Saturn Orbit
PASADENA, California -- Like thread through a buttonhole, the Cassini space probe successfully slipped through a gap in the rings surrounding Saturn -- not once, but twice -- on Wednesday night, kicking off a four-year mission to study the second largest planet in our solar system.
Along the way, the bus-sized spacecraft fired one of its two engines for nearly 96 minutes, made more than a dozen pre-programmed flips, and managed to avoid hitting any pebble-sized particles that might lie between Saturn's rings. And it did it all at speeds reaching 69,000 miles per hour.
Think how thrilled NASA engineers must be right now.
Posted by Alice at 7/01/2004 12:25:00 PM