Goals: Cassini was designed to explore the Saturnian system from orbit: the planet and its atmosphere, rings and magnetosphere, and its moons, particularly Titan and the icy satellites. Cassini also carried Europe’s Huygens probe to its rendezvous with Titan.
Accomplishments: After successfully completing the first in-depth, up-close study of Saturn and its realm from orbit, Cassini is on an extended mission to follow up on the many discoveries made during its primary 4-year mission. Among the most surprising discoveries were geysers erupting on Enceladus and the dynamic effects of it and other moons on Saturn’s rings. Cassini’s observations of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, have given scientists a glimpse of what our home planet might have been like before life evolved on Earth.
Cassini’s Last Looks at Saturn