The Cassini Extended Mission

  • David A. Seal
  • Brent B. Buffington


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


Spatial Coverage Radio Occultation Prime Mission Dusk Sector Saturnian System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The Equinox Mission owes its successful design to the heroic and sustained efforts over 2 years of the Cassini tour designers — Brent Buffington, John Smith and Nathan Strange — and to the dedication of the Cassini science community.

This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement by the United States Government or the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Seal
    • 1
  • Brent B. Buffington
    • 1
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadena

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