The Cassini-Huygens Visit to Saturn

An Historic Mission to the Ringed Planet

  • Michael Meltzer

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Space Exploration book sub series (SPACEE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Creating a new expedition to Saturn

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 3-26
  3. Designing, fabricating, and integrating the Cassini-Huygens space vessel

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 47-47
    2. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 49-106
    3. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 107-137
    4. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 157-177
  4. From Earth to Saturn

  5. A great natural laboratory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 261-262
    2. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 263-284
    3. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 285-320
    4. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 321-355
    5. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 357-385
    6. Michael Meltzer
      Pages 387-393
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 395-409

About this book


Cassini-Huygens was the most ambitious and successful space journey ever launched to the outer Solar System. This book examines all aspects of the journey: its conception and planning; the lengthy political processes needed to make it a reality; the engineering and development required to build the spacecraft; its 2.2-billion mile journey from Earth to the Ringed Planet; and the amazing discoveries from the mission. The author traces how the visions of a few brilliant scientists matured, gained popularity, and eventually became a reality.

Innovative technical leaps were necessary to assemble such a multifaceted spacecraft and reliably operate it while it orbited a planet so far from our own. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft design evolved from other deep space efforts, most notably the Galileo mission to Jupiter, enabling the voluminous, paradigm-shifting scientific data collected by the spacecraft.  Some of these discoveries are absolute gems. A small satellite that scientists once thought of as a dead piece of rock turned out to contain a warm underground sea that could conceivably harbor life. And we now know that hiding under the mist of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is a world with lakes, fluvial channels, and dunes hauntingly reminiscent of those on our own planet, except that on Titan, it’s not water that fills those lakes but hydrocarbons. These and other breakthroughs illustrate why the Cassini-Huygens mission will be remembered as one of greatest voyages

of discovery ever made.


Cassini Mission Overview Exploration of Saturn Huygens Probe Discoveries Huygens Titan Research NASA Mission to Saturn NASA Spacecraft Missions Saturn Mission Orbit Saturn's Magnetosphere Saturn's Moon Titan Saturn's Ring System

Authors and affiliations

  • Michael Meltzer
    • 1
  1. 1.OaklandUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-07607-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-07608-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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