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Cassini–Huygens Probe

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Abraxas
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« on: June 21, 2007, 02:07:47 am »

2005

January 14 — Huygens entered Titan's atmosphere at 09:06 UTC and had landed softly on its surface about two hours later. This was confirmed by the reception of the carrier wave emitted by the probe during its descent and touchdown. At 16:19 UTC the Cassini orbiter started to relay to Earth the scientific data received from the probe. The first picture was released at 19:45 UTC, showing a view from about 16 km above the surface. A second picture taken from the probe at rest on the surface was released a short time later. Analysis of the data is ongoing.

February 15 — Successful Titan flyby, with new regions of its surface scanned by RADAR. Cassini 's mapping RADAR acquired a picture that shows a large crater on Titan, with an estimated diameter of 440 km (273 mi).[7]

February 17 — The first close flyby of Enceladus was executed and first closeup images were sent back to Earth. The flyby distance was about 1180 km (730 mi).

March 9 — The second flyby of Enceladus was performed and Cassini passed the moon with minimum distance of 500 km (310 mi).

March 17 — The Cassini probe reveals that Saturn's moon Enceladus has an atmosphere. It has been described as "substantial" by its discoverers.

March 31 — The fourth planned flyby of Titan with a minimum distance of about 2400 kilometers was executed. Images and other data are currently being evaluated.[8]
April 16 — The fifth planned flyby of Titan with a minimum distance of about 1025 kilometers was executed at 19:12 UTC. This was the closest flyby up to this date, and provided the opportunity to obtain more detailed data on the constituents in the upper atmosphere of Titan. A first analysis of that data showed a large range of complex carbon molecules. On April 25 a mass plot was published that demonstrates the existence of these molecules.

May 3 — Cassini begins Radio occultation experiments on Saturn's Rings, to determine ring particle size distribution, on the scale of centimetres.

May 10 — At the beginning of a period focussed observation of the ring system of Saturn, slated to take until September, mission scientist announced the discovery of a new moon in the "Keeler gap" inside the "A" ring. Provisionally named S/2005 S 1 and later named Daphnis, it was first seen in a time-lapse sequence of images taken on May 1. Imaging scientists had predicted the new moon's presence and its orbital distance from Saturn after last July's sighting of a set of peculiar spiky and wispy features in the Keeler gap's outer edge.

July 14 — The closest flyby of Enceladus with a distance of 175 km (110 mi) was executed successfully. First raw pictures were published.

August 22 — Flyby of Titan with a minimum distance of 3669 km (2280 mi).[9]

September 7 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 1075 km (668 mi), data gathered partially lost due to software problem.

September 24 — Flyby of Tethys at a distance of 1500 km (900 mi).

September 26 — Flyby of Hyperion at a distance of 1010 km (628 mi), the closest flyby and only visit to the moon during the primary mission.

October 11 — Flyby of Dione at a distance of 500 km (300 mi).

October 28 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 1400 km (800 mi).

November 26 — Flyby of Rhea at a distance of 500 km (300 mi).

December 26 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 10410 km (6470 mi).[10]


2006
January 15 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 2040 km (1270 mi).[11]

February 27 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 4390 km (2730 mi).[12]

March 18 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 1950 km (1220 mi).[13]

May 20 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 1880 km (1175 mi).[14]

July 2 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 1910 km (1185 mi).[15]

July 27 — NASA confirms the presence of hydrocarbon lakes in Titan's northern polar region.

September 23 — Flyby of Titan at a distance of 960 km (595 mi).[16]

2007
March 1 — NASA releases several remarkable images of Saturn from Cassini, many in angles not possible from Earth
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