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Cassini Arrives at Saturn
Cassini Program Manager explains how the spacecraft will turn so its high-gain antenna can shield the craft from particles as it crosses Saturn's ring plane.
"It's been a long time coming and the hopes and dreams of thousands of engineers are resting on that one evening. When we get the signal back is when we'll all go take a deep breath. Hold your ears, because they might pop."
Deputy Program Manager, Earl Miaze, monitors Cassini's engine burn, which will slow spacecraft down so it can be captured by Saturn's gravity.
JPL's good-luck peanuts debuted in 1964 as a way to break the tension as Ranger 7 approached the moon - after six consecutive failures. Peanuts make regular appearances in mission control at moments of high anxiety or risk - and the Cassini team made sure plenty were on hand for Saturn Orbit Insertion.
JPL Director, Charles Elachi gives high-fives all around.
Elaborate work and extensive testing went into preparing for this maneuver which had little margin for error.