Current & Future Missions
Cassini Orbiter
The Cassini Orbiter's mission consists of delivering a probe (called Huygens, provided by ESA) to Titan, and then remaining in orbit around Saturn for detailed studies of the planet and its rings and satellites.
Cassini is the largest interplanetary spacecraft ever constructed by NASA.
Titan and Enceladus Mission
Primary goals are to understand the atmosphere, surface and interior, to determine the chemistry, and to derive constraints on the origin and evolution of Titan and of the saturnian system as a whole, with an emphasis on Enceladus.
Note: Following the joint ESA-NASA decision in February 2009 to further pursue the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM), the studies concerning the TandEM mission concept within ESA have been terminated.
The Geysers of Enceladus
You feel it before you see it: an ominous rumble, reverberating deep in your chest and up from your feet. There is no sound here. And then the eruption comes: two huge ice plumes explode through the surface of Enceladus, spewing ice crystals into space at more than 1,000 miles per hour. The silent violence is lit by our distant sun. With just 1/16 of our own moon's gravity, Enceladus will not be an easy world to tread on; hikers may need to strap on jetpacks and take care to avoid the valleys that give birth to the powerful geysers.
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