Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Cassini

  • Gap between Saturn and innermost ring surprisingly free of dust

    Laurel KornfeldMay 3rd, 2017

    Analysis of data returned by NASA's Cassini spacecraft from its first Grand Finale dive between Saturn and its rings has surprised scientists by revealing the region to be nearly dust free.

  • Cassini returns images from first dive between Saturn and its rings

    Laurel KornfeldApril 28th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has successfully completed the first of its 22 Grand Finale dives between Saturn and its rings, sending back images and data after more than 20 hours of being out of contact with Earth.

  • Titan flyby launches Cassini into Grande Finale

    Laurel KornfeldApril 25th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini orbiter conducted its last and closest flyby of Saturn's large moon Titan in the early morning hours of April 22, 2017, putting it on course for the mission's Grand Finale of 22 orbits between the innermost rings and the giant planet.

  • Cassini to conduct last, closest flyby of Titan

    Laurel KornfeldApril 21st, 2017

    As NASA's Cassini spacecraft moves toward its Grand Finale, it will conduct its final and closest flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on April 22, 2017. This last visit is a targeted flyby, meaning Cassini will use either its rocket engine or thrusters to alter its course.

  • Ocean worlds Enceladus and Europa could be habitable for microbial life

    Laurel KornfeldApril 14th, 2017

    New data obtained by NASA's Cassini mission and by the Hubble Space Telescope indicate Saturn's moon Enceladus and Jupiter's moon Europa, both referred to as ocean worlds because they harbor subsurface oceans, could be habitable for microbial life.

  • NASA Video: Saturn moon Enceladus has ingredients for life

    Derek RichardsonApril 13th, 2017

    Using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn and the Hubble Space Telescope around Earth, scientists have determined that the ringed planet's moon Enceladus, which has a global ocean under its icy surface, has a source of chemical energy – an ingredient for life.

  • Cassini prepares for ‘grand finale’

    Paul KnightlyApril 8th, 2017

    On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will conduct the first in a series of 22 dives between Saturn's atmosphere and the gas giant's rings as a part of the mission's “grand finale”. It will conclude a mission that has spent almost 13 years exploring the Saturnian system.

  • Nitrogen in Titan’s lakes may cause them to fizz

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 18th, 2017

    The hydrocarbon lakes of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, may contain nitrogen that, at times, causes them to bubble and fizz, according to a NASA study that simulated conditions on Titan's surface.

  • Cassini images Saturn’s polar hexagon

    Paul KnightlyMarch 1st, 2017

    On Dec. 2, 2016, NASA's Cassini spacecraft imaged Saturn's north polar region. Prominently centered around the north pole is the famous hexagonal cloud that is formed as the result of jet stream interactions in Saturn's atmosphere. A similar hexagon does not exist at Saturn's south pole.

  • Cassini’s first close flyby of Enceladus led to discovery of its subsurface ocean

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 21st, 2017

    An unexpected finding during Cassini's first close flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus led to the discovery of its subsurface ocean, which could, possibly, host microbial life.

  • Cassini reveals Saturn’s rings in unprecedented detail

    Paul KnightlyFebruary 3rd, 2017

    Fresh images returned from NASA's Cassini spacecraft are revealing fascinating new details of Saturn's famous rings. Cassini is conducting a series of 22 ring-grazing orbits to study Saturn's innermost rings and moons as it refines its trajectory before concluding its 20-year mission in September.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 12 years ago, Huygens touched down on Titan

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 14th, 2017

    Twelve years ago, on January 14, 2005, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Huygens probe touched down on the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, where it collected images and data about a world viewed by many scientists as an analog of early Earth.

  • Cassini sends back first photos taken from ring-grazing orbit

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 12th, 2016

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has returned the first photographs of Saturn and its rings taken from its new, nine-month ring-grazing orbit phase.

  • Cassini begins dive into Saturn’s rings

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 6th, 2016

    NASA's Cassini orbiter made its first dive into Saturn's ring system on Sunday, Dec. 4. It's the beginning of an endgame in which the spacecraft will fly across the ring plane and ultimately impact the giant planet on Sept. 15, 2017.

  • Cassini prepares to graze Saturn’s rings

    Paul KnightlyNovember 26th, 2016

    NASA's robotic Cassini spacecraft will begin a grand tour of Saturn’s ring system starting this week as the mission enters into its final stages.