The Corner

Cassini Is in Orbit Around Saturn

The Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn at 12 minutes

after midnight this morning. A retro-rocket was fired to slow it down, and

a fly-by mission was thereby converted into a permanent orbit around the

planet. All went successfully, and we should be getting some great pictures

this morning.

This is a tremendous engineering achievement. We have never been in orbit

around such a remote body. (The Voyager missions of the 1980s were

fly-bys.) Congratulations to the mission team! Let’s look forward to some

great science from Cassini-Huygens.

Mission news (including live TV from mission control) can be got here. For pictures as they come

in, this site is slightly better.

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