December 17, 2004
The objectives of the Cassini mission can be divided into five scientific categories. Titan, at
the upper right, is the target for the Huygens probe, which will descend to
the surface of Saturn's largest moon, making both atmospheric and surface
measurements. Titan will also be intensely studied by the Cassini orbiter
during its forty or more flybys of the satellite.
Icy satellites (Saturn's
moons other than Titan) will be observed from intermediate distances as well
as from a few selected close flybys. Fully half of the Cassini orbiter's
instruments are designed to measure the particles, magnetic field, and radio
emissions within Saturn's magnetosphere, shown at the lower right.
remaining two categories are Saturn's intriguing rings and Saturn itself,
depicted at the upper left. Cassini's scientific studies will constitute an
enormous improvement in scientific knowledge of Saturn over the earlier
Voyager and Pioneer results. (P-46655)