Benvenuti in queste pagine dedicate a scienza ed arte. Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where is Cassini spacecraft?

Cassini–Huygens is a robotic spacecraft currently studying the planet Saturn and its  satellites. The launched spacecraft consisted of two elements: the Cassini orbiter, named for the astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, and the Huygens probe, named for the astronomer, mathematician and physicist Christiaan Huygens. Cassini-Huygens  was launched on October 15, 1997, and it entered into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004. On December 25, 2004, the Huygens probe was separated from the orbiter and  reached Saturn's moon Titan on January 14, 2005. It descended into the atmosphere of the moon, sending information back to the Earth. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer solar system. The mission will continue until 2017. 
On November 2, Cassini was triggered into a standby mode, after a bit flip caused it to miss an important instruction. Cassini was reactivated as scheduled on November 24 and has returned to perfect working order, in time for two scheduled close fly-bys with Enceladus.
What is powering Cassini?