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Burn ignition!
Mission control erupts in applause as communications from Cassini confirm the orbit insertion burn has begun. (60sec file)
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Burn completed
Signals from Cassini announce the conclusion of the Saturn orbit insertion burn, confirming the spacecraft has arrived at the ringed planet. (2min 15sec file)
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Post-arrival briefing
Mission officials hold a post-orbit insertion burn news conference at 1 a.m. EDT July 1 to discuss Cassini's successful arrival at Saturn. (25min 27sec file)
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Wednesday's status briefing
Cassini's health in the final hours before arrival at Saturn is presented in this status briefing from 12 p.m. EDT on June 30. (33min 09sec file)
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International cooperation
Officials from the U.S., European and Italian space agencies discuss the international cooperation in the Cassini mission and future exploration projects during this news conference from 2 p.m. EDT June 30. (19min 35sec file)
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'Ring-side' chat
This informal "ring-side chat" from 5 p.m. EDT June 30 discusses the Cassini mission to Saturn and the future of space exploration. (49min 20sec file)
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Tuesday's Cassini update
Mission managers and scientists provide an update on the Cassini mission and preview the spacecraft's arrival at Saturn during this news conference from June 29. (51min 58sec file)
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Phoebe science briefing
Scientists report scientific results from the Cassini spacecraft's close-up examination of Saturn's moon Phoebe. (31min 53sec file)
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Phoebe flyby preview
This animation shows Cassini during its encounter with the tiny moon Phoebe on the route to Saturn. (42sec file)
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Cassini preview
The Cassini spacecraft's arrival at Saturn is previewed in this detailed news conference from NASA Headquarters on June 3. (50min 01sec file)
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Saturn arrival explained
Cassini's make-or-break engine firing to enter orbit around Saturn is explained with graphics and animation. Expert narration is provided by Cassini program manager Robert Mitchell. (3min 33sec file)
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Cassini mission science
The scientific objectives of the Cassini mission to study the planet Saturn, its rings and moons are explained by Charles Elachi, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (4min 54sec file)
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Huygens mission science
After entering orbit around Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft will launch the European Huygens probe to make a parachute landing on the surface of the moon Titan. The scientific objectives of Huygens are explained by probe project manager Jean-Pierre Lebreton. (3min 14sec file)
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Saturn's moon Titan
Learn more about Saturn's moon Titan, which is believed to harbor a vast ocean, in this narrated movie. (4min 01sec file)
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Relive Cassini's launch
An Air Force Titan 4B rocket launches NASA's Cassini spacecraft at 4:43 a.m. October 15, 1997 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. (5min 15sec file)
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Cassini Mission Report

Welcome to Spaceflight Now's mission page covering the Cassini space probe's exploration of Saturn, its remarkable rings and numerous moons. You can check this page for our stories, NASA's picture releases and mission status reports.
E-mail us your comments, suggestions and corrections!

Top Stories

Observatory watched Titan when Huygens arrived
The Huygens probe impacted Titan's atmosphere Friday, with an expected landing on Titan's mysterious surface three hours later. This near-infrared image shows Titan at the moment Huygens reached its target as seen from the Keck Observatory on Earth.
   FULL STORY
Scientists elated with quality of Huygens data
A missing computer command - apparently the result of human error - caused the loss of half the pictures taken by Europe's Huygens probe as it descended to the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. But project officials said Saturday the 350 pictures that made it back, along with high-quality data from the spacecraft's other instruments and unexpected measurements by Earth-based radio telescopes, should fulfill all of the mission's primary objectives.
   FULL STORY
   PHOTO: MONTAGE OF HUYGENS PICTURES
Surface of Saturn's moon Titan revealed in color
Tired and weary after a sleepless night spent sorting through their data, scientists on Saturday unveiled more pictures returned from the European Space Agency's Huygens probe that landed on Saturn's moon Titan Friday.
   PHOTO: TITAN IN COLOR
   PHOTO: SIZES OF SURFACE FEATURES
   PHOTO: OVERHEAD VIEW OF TERRAIN
   PHOTO: MOSAIC OF MANY IMAGES
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
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European probe becomes Titan's first visitor
The European Space Agency's ambitious Huygens probe descended to Saturn's moon Titan Friday, becoming the first spacecraft to touch the mysterious world's surface. Titan is believed to resemble conditions of a young Earth. A mission scientist says the first picture released shows what could be drainage channels flowing to a possible shoreline.
   FULL STORY
   SEE FIRST PICTURES
   ONE DATA CHANNEL LOST
   CASSINI RELAYS THE DATA
   HUYGENS MISSION ENDS
   PROBE PHONES HOME
   LANDING PREVIEW STORY
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Scientists await landing
The European Space Agency's Huygens probe, closing in on Saturn's mysterious moon Titan, is racing toward a dramatic, high-speed plunge into the moon's thick nitrogen atmosphere after 5 a.m. EST (1000 GMT) Friday. The flying saucer-shaped probe is expected to endure peak heating of nearly 3,500 degrees and a braking force of some 16 Gs.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates!
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Probe travels to surface of Saturn's moon Titan Friday
In one of the boldest space missions ever attempted, a small European-built probe will slam into the atmosphere of Saturn's mysterious moon Titan Friday for a two-and-a-half hour parachute descent to its smog-shrouded surface.
   FULL STORY
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Encountering Iapetus
On New Year's Eve 2004, Cassini flew past Saturn's intriguing moon Iapetus, capturing images that were put together to form this global view. The scene is dominated by a dark, heavily-cratered region, called Cassini Regio, that covers nearly an entire hemisphere of Iapetus.
   FULL STORY
Iapetus: View from the top
This oblique view of Saturn's moon Iapetus from high latitude shows how the dark, heavily cratered terrain of Cassini Regio transitions to a bright, icy terrain.
   FULL STORY
Giant landslide on Iapetus
A spectacular landslide within the low-brightness region of Iapetus's surface known as Cassini Regio is visible in this image from Cassini. The landslide material appears to have collapsed from a scarp 9 miles high that forms the rim of an ancient 375-mile impact basin.
   FULL STORY
Fresh crater on Rhea?
Rhea has been heavily bombarded by impacts during its history. In this Cassini image the moon around Saturn displays what may be a relatively fresh, bright, rayed crater near Rhea's eastern limb. Rhea is 949 miles across.
   FULL STORY
Cassini diverts from collision course with moon
NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully performed a getaway maneuver to keep it from following the Huygens probe into the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. The probe has no navigating capability, so the Cassini orbiter had been placed on a deliberate collision course with Titan to ensure the accurate delivery of the probe to the moon.
   FULL STORY
Cassini takes picture of departing Huygens probe
The Cassini spacecraft snapped this image of the European Space Agency's Huygens probe about 12 hours after its release from the orbiter. The probe successfully detached from Cassini on Friday night and is on course for its January 14 encounter with Titan.
   FULL STORY
Radio telescopes will add to Huygens discoveries
When the Huygens spacecraft makes its plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan on January 14, radio telescopes of the National Science Foundation's National Radio Astronomy Observatory will help international teams of scientists extract the maximum possible amount of irreplaceable information from an experiment unique in human history.
   FULL STORY
Cassini orbiter deploys Titan descent probe
In a long-awaited milestone, a European-built probe carrying cameras and a suite of scientific instruments was released from NASA's Cassini Saturn orbiter Christmas Eve, setting up a dramatic Jan. 14 plunge into the atmosphere of the ringed planet's mysterious moon Titan.
   FULL STORY - updated @ 12:50 a.m. EST
   DETAILED TIMELINE
Saturn lightning, rotation discoveries made
As NASA's Cassini spacecraft approached Saturn last July, it found evidence that lightning on the planet is roughly one million times stronger than lightning on Earth.
   FULL STORY
New clouds add to mystery of Saturn's moon Titan
Using adaptive optics on the Gemini North and Keck II telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, a U.S. team has discovered a new phenomenon in the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon Titan. Unlike previous observations showing storms at the south pole, these new images reveal atmospheric disturbances at Titan's temperate mid latitudes - about halfway between the equator and the poles.
   FULL STORY
Saturn's outer rings may be eroding, Cassini data shows
A massive eruption of atomic oxygen from Saturn's outer rings, seen by Cassini's ultraviolet camera as the spacecraft neared its destination, may be an indication that the planet's wispy E ring is eroding so fast that it could disappear within 100 million years if not replenished.
   FULL STORY
Before and after look at Saturn's moon Titan
Cassini's second close flyby of Titan completes a 'before' and 'after' look at the fuzzy moon and provides the first direct evidence of changing weather patterns in the skies over Titan.
   FULL STORY
Cassini has another successful Titan flyby
The Cassini spacecraft completed a successful rendezvous with Saturn's moon Titan on Monday. This was the last pass before the European Space Agency's Huygens probe is sprung loose from Cassini on Christmas Eve.
   FULL STORY
New Cassini picture shows rings in extraordinary detail
This fantastic close-up of Saturn's outer C ring shows large and sharp changes in brightness across the rings, owing to the extreme variations in ring particle concentrations at different distances from the planet.
   FULL STORY
From Saturn's dark side
As Cassini swung around to the dark side of the planet during its first close passage after orbit insertion, the intrepid spacecraft spied three ring moons -- Mimas, Janus and Prometheus -- whizzing around the planet.
   FULL STORY
Saturn's moon Iapetus as you've never seen it
New details on Iapetus are illuminated by reflected light from Saturn in this revealing Cassini image. Never-before-seen features on the Saturn-facing part of Iapetus' bright trailing hemisphere are visible for the first time.
   FULL STORY
Cassini captures Saturn moon red-handed
Stealing is a crime on Earth, but at Saturn, apparently it is routine. The Cassini spacecraft has witnessed Saturn's moon Prometheus snatching particles from one of Saturn's rings.
   FULL STORY
Saturn's ring gap
An intriguing knotted ringlet within the Encke Gap is the main attraction in this Cassini image. The Encke Gap is a small division near the outer edge of Saturn's rings that is about 190 miles wide. The tiny moon Pan orbits within the gap and maintains it.
   FULL STORY
Gazing down on Saturn
The Cassini spacecraft pierced the ring plane and rounded Saturn a few weeks ago, capturing these pictures that NASA has released showing the dark portion of the planet's majestic rings.
   FULL STORY
Nature's canvas at Saturn
In a splendid portrait created by light and gravity, Saturn's lonely moon Mimas is seen against the cool, blue-streaked backdrop of Saturn's northern hemisphere. Delicate shadows cast by the rings arc gracefully across the planet, fading into darkness on Saturn's night side.
   FULL STORY
Battered and grooved: Saturn's moon Tethys
Having now passed closer to Tethys than the Voyager 2 spacecraft, Cassini has returned the best-ever natural color view of this icy Saturnian moon.
   FULL STORY
Hovering over Titan
A mosaic of nine processed images recently acquired during Cassini's first very close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan constitutes the most detailed full-disc view of the mysterious moon. The mosaic was released this week.
   FULL STORY
Breathtaking vista of Tethys
This dazzling view from Cassini looks beyond gigantic storms near Saturn's south pole to the small but clear disc of Tethys. Clouds and ribbons of gas swirl about in the planet's atmosphere in the foreground, while a tremendous chasm is visible on the icy moon.
   FULL STORY
Cassini image shows Saturn moon with a real shiner
Saturn's moon Rhea shows off the moon equivalent of a black eye -- a bright, rayed crater near its eastern limb -- in this picture from the Cassini mission released Monday. Rhea is about half the size of Earth's moon.
   FULL STORY
Cassini sees Atlas, Pandora and Janus orbiting Saturn
Saturn hosts its own miniature solar system, with an entourage of more than 30 moons. This image shows Saturn's A and F rings, along with three of the moons that orbit close to them.
   FULL STORY
Objects, density waves seen in Saturn's rings
A University of Colorado at Boulder-built instrument riding on the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is being used to resolve objects in Saturn's rings smaller than a football field, making them twice as sharp as any previous ring observations.
   FULL STORY
Cassini observations show dynamic dance at Saturn
A University of Colorado at Boulder professor involved with the Cassini-Huygens mission is reporting an ever-changing vista at the frontiers of Saturn, featuring wayward moons, colliding meteoroids, rippling rings and flickering auroras.
   FULL STORY
Cassini radar sees flow-like feature across Titan
A strikingly bright, lobate feature has turned up in one of Cassini's first radar images of Saturn's moon Titan. It looks like something that "oozed across the surface," says a radar team member.
   FULL STORY
Crunch, squelch or splash on Saturn's moon Titan?
The prospect of the Huygens probe landing on a hard, soft or liquid surface when it lands on Titan next January still remain following further analysis of data taken during the Cassini mother ship's closest encounter with Saturn's largest moon during its fly-by on October 26.
   FULL STORY
Radar image shows Titan's surface live and in color
Saturn's moon Titan shows a sharp contrast between its smooth and rough edges in a new false-color radar image. Titan's surface lies beneath a thick coat of hazy clouds, but Cassini's radar instrument can peer through to show finer surface features.
   FULL STORY
Cassini's radar shows Titan's young active surface
The first radar images of Saturn's moon Titan show a very complex geological surface that may be relatively young. Previously, Titan's surface was hidden behind a veil of thick haze.
   FULL STORY
   RADAR IMAGERY
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Two views of Titan's haze
Titan's planet-wide stratospheric haze is observed in Cassini's first close encounter with the shrouded moon. This image shows Titan's night-side backlit by the Sun after the space probe's closest approach to the moon. The haze layer ringing the planet is illuminated because the small particles scatter significant sunlight in the forward direction.
   FULL STORY
Scientists elated by Cassini's Titan observations
After years of anticipation, the Cassini spacecraft beamed back smog-piercing close-up images of Saturn's moon Titan late Tuesday, revealing a strange, striated landscape that both thrilled - and mystified - planetary scientists.
   FULL STORY
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Cassini has close encounter with Saturn's moon Titan
NASA's Cassini spacecraft streaked by Saturn's smoggy moon Titan Tuesday, targeted to pass within just 750 miles of the planet-sized satellite to give scientists their first detailed glimpse of a world that, until now, has been shrouded in mystery. A news conference to discuss the pictures and data is planned for 1600 GMT (12 noon EDT) Wednesday.
   FULL STORY
   FLYBY TIMELINE
   OUR CASSINI MISSION ARCHIVE
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Titan up close
These raw, un-processed images of Saturn's moon Titan were taken by the Cassini spacecraft and transmitted to Earth on October 26. The pictures provide the closest views ever snapped of the hazy moon.
   PICTURE COLLECTION
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Cassini flies past Titan; pictures expected tonight
NASA's Cassini spacecraft streaked by Saturn's smoggy moon Titan Tuesday, targeted to pass within just 750 miles of the planet-sized satellite to give scientists their first detailed glimpse of a world that, until now, has been shrouded in mystery.
   FULL STORY
   FLYBY TIMELINE
Cassini scientists ready for first close Titan flyby
The Cassini spacecraft is heading for its first close encounter with Saturn's moon Titan. University of Arizona scientists on the mission say Cassini will get its first real glimpse of Titan surface geology and digest its first gulp of rich Titan air. The first pictures from the close flyby are expected late tonight.
   FULL STORY
   TITAN FLYBY OVERVIEW
Eyes on Xanadu
This stunning image taken Sunday reveals Titan's bright "continent-sized" terrain known as Xanadu. It was acquired with the narrow angle camera on Cassini as the craft sped toward its first close encounter with the moon of Saturn.
   FULL STORY
Cassini yields new knowledge of Saturn's rings
Although Cassini has only been orbiting the planet Saturn since July 1, data from the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer has already begun to provide new information about the curious nature of Saturn's space environment.
   FULL STORY
Cassini eyes the culprit
Gazing beyond Saturn's magnificent rings, Cassini spotted the cause of the dark gap visible in the foreground of this image: Mimas. The gravitational influence of Mimas is responsible for the 2,980 mile-wide Cassini division, which stretches across the lower left portion of this view. The little moon is at a nearly half-full phase in this view.
   FULL STORY
Music rings of Saturn
Looking something like the fibrous bow of a violin, Saturn's colorful rings sweep through this spectacular natural color view while two small moons look on.
   FULL STORY
Herding Saturn's rings
Saturn's moon Prometheus is seen shepherding the inner edge of Saturn's F ring. Prometheus is 63 miles across and was captured in a close-up view by the Cassini spacecraft near the time of orbital insertion at Saturn. A number of clumps are visible here along the arcing F ring.
   FULL STORY
Huygens test successful
The European Space Agency's Huygens probe, now orbiting Saturn onboard the Cassini spacecraft, is in good health and successfully passed its fifteenth 'In-Flight Checkout' last week. This test procedure was the last but one planned before separation of the Huygens probe from Cassini in December.
   FULL STORY
Colorful threads and shadows of Saturn
Saturn's faintly banded atmosphere is delicately colored and its threadbare rings cross their own shadows in this marvelous natural color view from Cassini.
   FULL STORY
Cassini orbiter snaps Saturn's family portrait
A stately Saturn poses for a portrait with five of its moons in this Cassini spacecraft wide angle camera view. The moons visible include Dione, Enceladus, Tethys, Mimas and Rhea.
   FULL STORY
Cassini discovers ring and one, maybe two, objects
Scientists examining Saturn's contorted F ring, which has baffled them since its discovery, have found one small body, possibly two, orbiting in the F ring region, and a ring of material associated with Saturn's moon Atlas.
   FULL STORY
Cassini spacecraft spies Saturn's moon Iapetus
The dark material that coats one hemisphere of Saturn's moon Iapetus is very dark, as these two processed views of the same image demonstrate.
   FULL STORY
Cassini craft reveals Saturn's cool rings
The Cassini spacecraft has taken the most detailed temperature measurements to date of Saturn's rings. Data taken by the composite infrared spectrometer instrument on the spacecraft while entering Saturn's orbit show the cool and relatively warm regions of the rings.
   FULL STORY
South polar storms on Saturn spotted by Cassini
This Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera view of Saturn's southern polar region features a bright white spot, or storm, surrounded by faint, darker swirls of clouds.
   FULL STORY
Cassini conducts major orbit adjustment maneuver
The Cassini spacecraft successfully completed a 51-minute engine burn that will raise its next closest approach distance to Saturn by nearly 186,000 miles. The maneuver was necessary to keep the spacecraft from passing through the rings and to put it on target for its first close encounter with Saturn's moon Titan on Oct. 26.
   FULL STORY
Streaking away from Dione
Saturn's crescent moon Dione hangs before the Cassini spacecraft in this magnified image. The icy moon shows a hint of the bright, wispy features that mark its surface.
   FULL STORY
Latest color pictures from Cassini look like artwork
NASA has released three new stunning color pictures taken by the Cassini spacecraft exploring the planet Saturn. The images show the giant planet, its golden rings and several moons.
   FULL STORY
Out from the shadows: Two new Saturnian moons
With eyes sharper than any that have peered at Saturn before, the Cassini spacecraft has uncovered two moons, which may be the smallest bodies so far seen around the ringed planet.
   FULL STORY
Newest picture from Cassini shows Saturn in color
A frigid ball of gas in the blackness of space, Cassini's new home, Saturn, appears cool and serene in this natural color image. The spacecraft obtained this view as it sped outward from the planet on its initial orbit. At the left, Saturn's shadow stretches almost completely across the rings, while at the right, the planet's illuminated face appears to gaze down at the far-off Sun.
   FULL STORY
Cassini discoveries shed light on Saturn and Titan
The Cassini spacecraft, which began its tour of the Saturn system just over a month ago, has detected lightning and a new radiation belt at Saturn, and a glow around the planet's largest moon, Titan.
   FULL STORY
South polar structure of Saturn imaged by Cassini
Saturn's southern polar region exhibits concentric rings of clouds which encircle a dark spot at the pole. To the north and toward the right, wavy patterns are evident, resulting from the atmosphere moving with different speeds at different latitudes.
   FULL STORY
Saturn in full view for Cassini spacecraft
Two weeks after orbit insertion, Cassini glanced back at Saturn, taking in the entire planet and its expansive rings. Currently it is summer in Saturn's southern hemisphere. Notable here is the bright spot located near the planet's southern hemisphere, where the line from the day and night side of the planet meets. The angle of illumination hints at Saturn's tilt relative to the Sun.
   FULL STORY
Titan's purple covering points to a fuzzy past
Encircled in purple stratospheric haze, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, appears as a softly glowing sphere in this colorized image taken on July 3, one day after Cassini's first flyby of that moon. Titan has a dense atmosphere composed primarily of nitrogen with a few percent methane. The atmosphere can undergo photochemical processes to form hazes.
   FULL STORY
Hazy all over Titan
Following its first flyby of Titan, Cassini gazed back at the smog-enshrouded moon's receding crescent. This natural color view was seen by the spacecraft about one day after closest approach. The slight bluish glow of Titan's haze is visible along the limb.
   FULL STORY
Cassini's rear-view image of Saturn's moon Titan
A day after entering orbit around Saturn, Cassini sped silently past Titan, imaging the moon's south polar region. This natural color image represents Cassini's view only about two hours after closest approach to the moon.
   FULL STORY
Odd-looking moon Mimas photographed by Cassini
Soon after orbital insertion, Cassini returned its best look yet at heavily cratered Mimas. The enormous crater at the top of this image, named Herschel, is about 80 miles wide and 6 miles deep.
   FULL STORY
Cassini sees the moon Tethys: The Sea Goddess
Like a half-full moon, cratered Tethys hangs before the Cassini spacecraft in this narrow angle camera view. Voyager images showed a large fracture on Tethys about 470 miles long. Cassini will investigate this and other features on Tethys during two planned flybys beginning next year.
   FULL STORY
Stunning true-color picture of Saturn's rings
With shimmering pinks, hues of gray and a hint of brown, a newly released image of Saturn's rings resembles a fresco where nature is the painter. The Cassini spacecraft captured this exquisite natural color view a few days before entering orbit around Saturn.
   FULL STORY
Cassini sees crescent Rhea
The first artificial satellite in the Saturn system, the Cassini spacecraft, returned images of the natural moons following a successful insertion into orbit. This is an unmagnified view of the moon Rhea.
   FULL STORY
Cassini shows the dark side of Saturn's moon Dione
The icy, cratered surface of Saturn's moon Dione shows more than just its sunlit side in these two processed versions of the same image from the Cassini spacecraft.
   FULL STORY
Cassini exposes Saturn's two-face moon Iapetus
The moon with the split personality, Iapetus, presents a perplexing appearance in the latest images snapped by the Cassini spacecraft. One hemisphere of the moon is very dark, while the other is very bright. Scientists do not yet know the origin of the dark material or whether or not it is representative of the interior of Iapetus.
   FULL STORY
South pole on Saturn
Details observed in Saturn's south polar region by Cassini demonstrate that this area is far from featureless. Lighter colored clouds dot the entire region, which is dominated by a central, sharply-defined circular feature.
   FULL STORY
Cassini spacecraft's solar conjunction ends
The Cassini spacecraft emerged from behind the Sun on Monday after being in solar conjunction since July 5. The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired from the Deep Space Network's Goldstone tracking station. The spacecraft is in excellent health and operating normally.
   FULL STORY
Ultraviolet pictures hint at origin of Saturn's rings
The best view ever of Saturn's rings in the ultraviolet indicates there is more ice toward the outer part of the rings, hinting at ring origin and evolution, say two University of Colorado at Boulder researchers involved in the Cassini mission.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 7]
Cassini close ups of Titan thrill, mystify scientists
New pictures of Saturn's enigmatic moon Titan, taken by cameras aboard the Cassini probe show strange looking surface features and a deck of methane clouds the size of Arizona. But so far, the instruments have not detected reflections from the surfaces of lakes or small seas of liquid hydrocarbons many scientists believe must form in the ultra-cold environment.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 3]
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Cassini finds puzzles in Saturn's ring ingredients
Just two days after the Cassini spacecraft entered Saturn orbit, preliminary science results are already beginning to show a complex and fascinating planetary system. One early result intriguing scientists concerns Saturn's Cassini Division, the large gap between the A and B rings.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 2]
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Reading tale of ions in Saturn's magnetosphere
The Cassini spacecraft has barely begun its four-year tour around Saturn, but already a University of Maryland sensor is beginning to reveal new data about the immense magnetosphere of the ringed planet.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 2]
Scientists marvel at photos
Making gravity visible, close-up images of Saturn's rings shot by NASA's newly arrived Cassini probe revealed an intricate, never-before-seen tapestry of icy particles herded into spiralling density waves by the effects of nearby moons.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 1]
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Welcome to Saturn!
NASA's $3.3 billion Cassini probe completed a seven-year, 2.2-billion mile voyage Wednesday night, firing its main engine for a nerve-wracking 96 minutes to successfully brake into orbit around the ringed planet Saturn.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 1]
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - updates!
First pictures from Saturn orbit show rich ring detail
The first batch of photographs snapped by the Cassini Saturn orbiter earlier today reached the Jet Propulsion Laboratory around 8:30 a.m. EDT, zoomed-in shots of the planet's myriad rings showing a ghostly tapestry of icy, back-lit particles arrayed in sharply defined bands.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 1]
   IMAGES FROM CASSINI
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Mission Preview

'Flagship mission of our time' nears its destination
Seven years after launch on a four-planet gravitational bank shot covering more than 2 billion miles, NASA's $3.3 billion nuclear-powered Cassini probe - the most sophisticated robotic spacecraft ever built - has finally reached the solar system's most spectacular target: The ringed planet Saturn. This is our 8,600-word, four-part preview of the Cassini-Huygens mission:
   MISSION PREVIEW [Posted: June 12]
Earlier Headlines

Cassini 'go' for Saturn orbit insertion burn
Executing stored instructions, the electronic brain of NASA's Cassini probe made final preparations for a critical 96-minute rocket firing tonight that will slow the craft by about 1,400 mph and allow Saturn's gravity to pull it into orbit.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 30]
   SATURN ORBIT INSERTION TIMELINE
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Cassini mission hinges on tonight's engine firing
After a seven-year voyage from Earth, NASA's $3.3 billion Cassini probe is racing toward a make-or-break rocket firing tonight, a 96-minute maneuver designed to put the craft in orbit around the ringed planet Saturn for a four-year scientific odyssey.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 29]
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Saturn's rotation is a puzzle
On approach to Saturn, data obtained by the Cassini spacecraft are already posing a puzzling question: How long is the day on Saturn? Cassini took readings of the day-length indicator regarded as most reliable -- the rhythm of natural radio signals from the planet. The result was 6 minutes longer than that measured by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by Saturn in 1980 and 1981.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 28]
OTHER CASSINI HEADLINES  Additional stories today
Instrument aims at Saturn's space environment -- As NASA's Cassini-Huygens spacecraft begins its four-year orbital tour of the Saturn system, mission scientists will use an innovative imaging device to deliver the most detailed look yet at the relationship between the Sun, the giant ringed planet and the diverse collection of moons looping around it.

Plasma noise burst welcomes Cassini at Saturn -- Although Cassini is scheduled to officially arrive at Saturn on June 30, scientists studying the planet's magnetosphere received an official welcome on June 27 when a burst of plasma wave noise indicated that Cassini had crossed the planet's bow shock -- the region where charged particles flowing outward from the sun collide with Saturn's magnetic field or magnetosphere.

Winds measured on Saturn's moon Titan to help lander -- On top the windswept summit of a Hawaiian volcano, a NASA instrument attached to the Japanese Subaru telescope measured distant winds raging on a strange world -- Titan, the giant moon of Saturn -- to help the robotic Huygens probe as it descends through Titan's murky atmosphere next January.
Getting closer to Titan
Irregular bright and dark regions of yet unidentified composition and character are becoming increasingly visible on Titan's surface as Cassini approaches its scheduled first flyby of Saturn's largest moon on July 2, 2004.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 25]
Phoebe likely born in outer solar system
NASA unveiled a spectacular high-resolution mosaic of Saturn's enigmatic moon Phoebe today, along with other data from the Saturn-bound Cassini probe showing the moon formed in the extreme outer solar system and later was captured by the ringed planet's gravity.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 23]
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Cassini opens a cosmic time capsule with Phoebe flyby
Like a woolly mammoth trapped in Arctic ice, Saturn's small moon Phoebe may be a frozen artifact of a bygone era, some four billion years ago. The finding is suggested by new data from the Cassini spacecraft.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 23]
New view of Saturn's rings and moons from Cassini
Saturn's magnificent rings show some of their intricate structure in this image taken by the Cassini spacecraft's narrow angle camera. Although they appear to be solid structures, the rings are composed of billions of individual particles, each one orbiting the planet on its own path.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 21]
Saturn in infrared
Saturn's bright equatorial band displays an exquisite swirl near the planet's eastern limb. This image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft's narrow angle camera from a distance of 14.5 million miles from Saturn.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 18]
Cassini maneuver sets stage for Saturn arrival
The Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft's main engine fired for 38 seconds Wednesday, slowing the vehicle by about 8 mph and putting it on course for Saturn orbit insertion the night of June 30, project officials said.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 17]
Saturn's swirl imaged
On its approach to Saturn orbit insertion, the narrow angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft snapped this image of a turbulent swirl in the high clouds of Saturn's atmosphere. The disturbance occurs in the southern edge of the equatorial band.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 15]
Phoebe's surface gives scientists clues to its origin
Images collected during Cassini's close flyby of Saturn's moon, Phoebe, have yielded strong evidence that the tiny object may contain ice-rich material, overlain with a thin layer of darker material perhaps 300 to 500 meters (980 to 1,600 feet) thick.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 14]
Saturn's moon Phoebe revealed in stunning detail
Extraordinary new images taken by the Cassini spacecraft during its close encounter with Saturn's mysterious moon Phoebe were released by scientists Sunday. The must-see pictures show in great detail the cratered surface of the tiny moon.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 13]
Close-up views of Phoebe shows moon's battered past
First images from the Cassini flyby of Phoebe reveal it to be a scarred, cratered outpost with a very old surface and a mysterious past, and a great deal of variation in surface brightness across its surface.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 12]
Cassini makes close observations of Phoebe
With its flyby of Phoebe on Friday, the Cassini spacecraft has completed the first encounter in its four-year tour of the Saturn system. "One down, 52 to go," the mission's chief navigator said Saturday from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 12]
Countdown to Phoebe
As Cassini sails toward its rendezvous with Phoebe, details on the small, dark moon are coming into view at a dizzying pace. Images taken Thursday, just one day prior to closest approach, provide a dramatic increase in sharpness and information.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 11]
Saturn's storm alley
This image from the Cassini spacecraft shows several dark storms confined to a region below 30 degrees south latitude in Saturn's atmosphere. This turbulent region has produced quite a few storms during Cassini's approach to Saturn, including some that have merged.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 11]
Cassini to examine Saturn's mysterious 'black' moon
The science team is eager to study the data and images returned this week when the Cassini spacecraft makes the closest-ever flyby of Saturn's moon Phoebe. The information obtained from Friday's encounter will help scientists determine the icy moon's surface composition and properties.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 9]
Cassini getting ever closer to colorful Saturn
As Cassini coasts into the final month of its nearly seven-year trek, the serene majesty of its destination looms ahead. The spacecraft's cameras are functioning beautifully and continue to return stunning views from Cassini's position, 750 million miles from Earth and now 9.8 million miles from Saturn.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 3]
   SATURN ORBIT INSERTION TIMELINE
Cassini spacecraft executes crucial rocket firing
For the first time in nearly five years, the Cassini spacecraft's main engine system ignited Thursday evening for a critical course adjustment that will serve as a dress rehearsal of sorts for Saturn orbit insertion July 1.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 27]
Spacecraft near and far are watching Saturn
As Saturn grows closer through the eyes of the Cassini spacecraft, which is hurtling toward a rendezvous with the ringed world on June 30, both Cassini and the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope snapped spectacular pictures of the planet and its magnificent rings.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 26]
Cassini shows rings and shadows at Saturn
Saturn's rings cast threadlike shadows on the planet's northern hemisphere in this image from the Cassini spacecraft. The picture was taken at a distance of 16.9 million miles from Saturn.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 25]
Casssini sees smaller moons of Saturn
Two of Saturn's moons -- Prometheus and Pandora -- are seen here shepherding the planet's narrow F-ring in this latest image from the approaching Cassini spacecraft.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 24]
Cassini peers closer at Titan
The Cassini orbiter continues its observations of Saturn's mysterious moon Titan, stealing another early peek at the haze-enshrouded surface. Cassini's view of Titan now surpasses Earth-based observations in its ability to show detail.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 21]
Scientists look to Saturn moon in search for life
While the Cassini spacecraft has been flying toward Saturn, chemists on Earth have been making plastic pollution like that raining through the atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan. Scientists suspect that organic solids have been falling from Titan's sky for billions of years and might be compounds that set the stage for the next chemical step toward life.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 17]
Latest Cassini image shows bands of clouds and lace
As Cassini nears its rendezvous with Saturn, new detail in the banded clouds of the planet's atmosphere are becoming visible. Cassini began the journey to the ringed world of Saturn nearly seven years ago and is now less than two months away from orbit insertion on June 30.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 14]
Cassini spies on Titan
The veils of Saturn's most mysterious moon have begun to lift in Cassini's eagerly awaited first glimpse of the surface of Titan, a world where scientists believe organic matter rains from hazy skies and seas of liquid hydrocarbons dot a frigid surface.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 6]
Cassini snaps its final full view of Saturn and rings
Saturn and its rings completely fill the field of view of Cassini's narrow angle camera in this natural color image. It is the last single "eyeful" of Saturn and its rings achievable with the camera on approach to the planet. From now until orbit insertion, Saturn and its rings will be larger than the field of view of the camera.
   FULL STORY [Posted: April 29]
Four ways to see Saturn
A montage of Cassini images, taken in four different regions of the spectrum from ultraviolet to near-infrared, demonstrates that there is more to Saturn than meets the eye. Cassini is two months away from entering orbit around Saturn.
   FULL STORY [Posted: April 24]
Cassini spots Saturn moons
Cassini has sighted Prometheus and Pandora, the two F-ring-shepherding moons whose unpredictable orbits both fascinate scientists and wreak havoc on the ring. The moons, which were discovered in images returned by the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1980, are in chaotic orbits that can change when the moons get very close to each other.
   FULL STORY [Posted: April 17]
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Apollo 11 special patch
Special collectors' patch marking the 35th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing is now available.
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Apollo 12 tribute DVD set

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Ferryflight Shuttle Patch

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Final Shuttle Mission Patch

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Apollo Collage
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