Chapter

Saturn from Cassini-Huygens

pp 725-744

The Cassini Extended Mission

  • David A. SealAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
  • , Brent B. BuffingtonAffiliated withJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

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Abstract

Based on the overwhelming success of the Cassini/Huygens 4-year tour of Saturn from July 2004 to June 2008, NASA Headquarters approved at least two years of extended mission for continued study of the target-rich Saturnian system. After a rigorous phase of science objective definition and trajectory design and analysis, the Cassini project initiated an efficient, scientifically intense and operationally challenging mission phase, including 60 orbits around Saturn, 26 close Titan flybys, and 10 close icy satellite flybys — including seven more flybys of Enceladus. At the conclusion of the 2-year extended mission, substantial operating margins should be present with some fascinating options for further extensions