For the past few years SpaceDaily has published a series of detailed articles on the upcoming mission to Saturn which will get underway later this year as NASA's Cassini spacecraft approaches Saturn ahead of a 90 minute engine burn to place the billion dollar spacecraft in orbit about Saturn.
Cassini is one of the most ambitious missions ever and central to the mission is the goal of placing a high performance spacecraft in orbit about Saturn. The initial orbital tour will take nearly three years. In addition one of the early highlights will be the deployment of the secondary Huygens spacecraft into the atmosphere of Titan.
Ahead of the main mission, long time space author David Harland has written a desktop manual entitled "Mission to Saturn" that should be on the desk of every planetary scientist with an interest in Saturn.
For readers with a non professional interest in space exploration - "Mission to Saturn" is a highly accessible book that provides substantial detail on the history of Saturn exploration - both from Earth and space based telescopes, and via the three previous spacecraft that have flown by Saturn.
Cassini has already shown off its colors with its flyby of Jupiter - that was essentially a Voyager-class mission for "free" - and which saw breathtaking images returned of Jupiter and its various moons.
Without doubt, Cassini when it arrives at Saturn is going to give the world a much needed break from its Earthly worries as we behold worlds only ever glimpsed before for a few hours as our first robotic explorers sped by on route to the stars.
SpaceDaily can recommend with confidence Mission to Saturn as a book anyone with more than a cursory interest in Saturn, will enjoy reading as we await the main event.
SpaceDaily Book Score - Five Stars - Buy from Amazon or your favorite quality book store.
More about Cassini at NASA
More about Huygens at ESA
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Titan: Sol's Biggest Lightweight
Cameron Park - March 20, 2001
In our continuing series on the upcoming Cassini mission to Saturn and Titan, Bruce Moomaw provides SpaceDaily readers with an insight into the science and technology that will make or break our first expedition to the surface of a gas giant's moon.
Cassini's Epic Tour of the Rings
Cameron Park - May 15, 2001
In our previous installment on Cassini mission to Saturn we looked at the activities the Huygens entry probe would conduct during its active phase as it parachutes into the atmosphere of Titan. but this brief visit to Titan is only the beginning of Cassini's epic survey of Saturn, its rings, and its moons as it orbits the Sol's mightiest ringed world.
Cassini's Tour de Saturn
Cameron Park - May 25, 2001
In my last article on the Cassini Saturn probe, I described the first of the four "phases" of its four-year orbital tour of Saturn and its rings and moons, during which it will use a constant sequence of gravity-assist flybys of Titan - 44 flybys during its 74 orbits around Saturn during those four years - to keep radically modifying its orbit to study different parts of the Saturn system. Each phase represents a period in which Cassini will carry out orbital maneuvers of a different general type to make a particular kind of scientific observation.
Ringing Out The Bugs On Route To Saturn And Titan
Cameron Park - June 26, 2001
Working the problem has been a keystone of the space program for decades. Whatever the cause of a problem, if at all possible, a solution must be found. And for the past year a deep space mission team has been working to solve a communication problem that will happen in 2004 when for a few hours two spacecraft communicate as they set about exploring Sol's biggest lightweight Titan during the first phase of Cassini's four-year mission to Saturn.
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