MISSIONS TO SATURN

Int.


Astronomical specifications:

Discovery 
Orbital characteristics:
Distance from Sun 1,426,725,400 km
Perihelion 1352.6 x (106 km)
Aphelion 1514.5 x (106 km)
Orbital Inclination 2.48 deg
Orbital Eccentricity 0.054
Orbital periode round Sun 29.447 years
Orbital Speed 9.672 km/s
Number of moons 60
Rings Yes
Physical characteristics:
Diameter 120,536 km
Surface area 44,000,000,000 km²
Volume 8.27 x 1014 km³
Mass 5.685 1026 kg
Density 687 kg/cm³
Equatorial gravity 8.96 m/s²
Escape velocity 35.49 km/s
Rotation period 10.7 hours
Axial tilt 26.73 deg
Surface temperature -140 C (134 K)
Surface Pressure - bars
Atmospheric composition H2, He

This true color picture was assembled from Voyager 2 Saturn images obtained Aug. 4 [1981] from a distance of 21 million kilometers



Saturn see by Cassini on March 27, 2004


Early history:

Space race:

Saturn missions:

Name Launch
Date
Launch rocket Weight
(kg)
Mission
Pioneer 11 (USA) 06-Apr-73 Atlas-Centaur 259 kg Jupiter probe. First successful fly-by of Saturn providing detailed view of ring structure.
Flyby of Saturn moons Janus and Mimas on Sept 01 1979
Voyager 2 (USA) 20-Aug-77 Titan-Centaur 815 kg Voyager 2 flew by Jupiter on July 9, 1979, Saturn on August 26, 1981, Uranus on January 24, 1986, and Neptune on August 24, 1989. Returned pictures and data.
Flyby of Saturn moons Enceladus and Tethys on Aug 26, 1981.
Voyager 1 (USA) 05-Sep-77 Titan-Centaur 815 kg Fly-by of Jupiter and Saturn. Returned pictures and data. Discovered volcanoes on Io, Jupiter ring, new Saturn moons and ring structure.
Flyby of Saturn moons Titan, Rhea on Nov 12, 1980 and Mimas on Nov 13, 1980.
Cassini-Huygens (USA,ESA) 15-Oct-97 Titan-Centaur 5.634 kg Saturn orbiter (Cassini) and Titan probe (Huygens). Orbiter arrived at Saturn 30-Jun-2004 for start of 4-year mission. Probe successfully landed on Titan 14-Jan-2005 returning data and images. Orbiter mass 2,150 kg; probe 350 kg.
The spacecraft was placed in a disposal orbit with final apoapsis at 0539 UTC on Sep 12, 2017 - 1.2 million km from Saturn. From there it fell towards the planet, picking up speed, and entered Saturn′s atmosphere on Sep 15, 2017 at a speed of 34.3 km/s (123660 km/hr). The spacecraft tumbled and broke up at 1032:16 UTC, sending out its last radio signal which reached Earth at 1155:42 UTC.

Saturnian moon encounters:

till Jun 2005, within 120000 km (for non-science encounters, the approaches are calculated from JPL Horizons, and these may be off by 20000 km or more because of inconsistent trajectory data. Horizons doesn't have any Pallene ephemeris data, and for the same reason there is no time for the Polydeuces pass.)
Encounter time UTC  Moon      Height above surface

1979 Sep  1 1452    Janus         2500 km  Pioneer-11
1979 Sep  1 1620    Mimas       103000 km  Pioneer-11
1980 Nov 12 0540    Titan         3915 km  Voyager-1
1980 Nov 12 0621    Rhea         73216 km  Voyager-1
1980 Nov 13 0142    Mimas        88231 km  Voyager-1
1981 Aug 26 0345?   Enceladus    86754 km  Voyager-2
1981 Aug 26 0612?   Tethys       92474 km  Voyager-2

Cassini probe:

2004 Jun 11 1903    Phoebe        2068 km 
2004 Jun 30 2227    Calypso      52080 km
2004 Jul  1 0031    Mimas        76400 km
2004 Jul  1 0117    Pandora      89850 km
2004 Jul  1 0152    Janus        67800 km
2004 Jul  1 0358    Prometheus  107400 km
2004 Oct 26 1530    Titan         1174 km  Ta
2004 Dec 13 1138    Titan         1200 km  Tb
2004 Dec 15 0144    Dione        72500 km
2004 Dec 15 0501    Mimas       107500 km
2005 Jan  1 0137    Iapetus     123400 km
2005 Jan 14 1112    Titan        60000 km  Tc
2005 Jan 16 0608    Mimas       108000 km
2005 Feb 15 0658    Titan         1577 km  T3
2005 Feb 16 2304    Pandora     102600 km
2005 Feb 17         Polydeuces    6189 km
2005 Feb 17 0011    Epimetheus   73500 km
2005 Feb 17 0024    Atlas         6170 km
2005 Feb 17 0330    Enceladus     1176 km  E03
2005 Mar  9 0434    Helene       74500 km
2005 Mar  9 0908    Enceladus      504 km  E04
2005 Mar  9 1129    Atlas        73800 km
2005 Mar  9 1155    Tethys       82500 km
2005 Mar 29 1847    Tethys      109200 km
2005 Mar 29 2034    Enceladus    55600 km
2005 Mar 29 2202    Atlas        97400 km
2005 Mar 29 2325    Epimetheus   62100 km
2005 Mar 31 2005    Titan         2402 km  T4
2005 Apr 15 0015    Epimetheus   46000 km
2005 Apr 15 0126    Mimas        82600 km
2005 Apr 15 0422    Calypso      70470 km
2005 Apr 16 1911    Titan         1025 km  T5 (06TI)
2005 May  2 1920    Helene      114200 km
2005 May  2 2148    Tethys       51800 km
2005 May  2 2303    Epimetheus  118500 km
2005 May 21 0630    Atlas        99700 km
2005 May 21 0648    Prometheus  107400 km
2005 May 21 0815    Enceladus   102100 km
2005 Jun  8 1025    Calypso      97810 km
2005 Jun  8?        Pallene      Unknown

Cassini has more flybys of Titan, Enceladus and Mimas lined up in the coming months.
Ref.: #7(JR548,741), #27, #98 - update: 26.01.18 Home