CASSINI In Space

 

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CASSINI

Overview: Fundamental Technologies, LLC provides data products for The Magnetospheric IMaging Instrument, or MIMI, onboard the Cassini spacecraft. MIMI was used to study the energetic charged particle environment of Saturn's magnetosphere. The MIMI investigations will significantly advance our understanding of Saturnian magnetic processes and their relationship to the satellites and rings of that system as well as to the planetary ionosphere and atmosphere.

 

Mission Background: Cassini was a joint mission between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and its prime directive was to orbit and study the planet Saturn as well as its system. Cassini also carried the probe Huygens, which detached from the spacecraft and parachuted itself onto the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in order to conduct its own investigations.

 

Scientific Payload:

 

ACRONYM TYPE OF INVESTIGATION
CIRS Measures infrared light given off by Saturn and its system
ISS Imaging in infrared & the electromagnetic spectrum from 2000 A to 1.1 μm
UVIS Measures ultraviolet light given off by Saturn and its system
VIMS Composition of Saturn's rings, moon surfaces, and atmospheres
CAPS Energy and electrical charge of electrons and protons
CDA Speed, size and composition of dust particles colliding with Saturn's system
INMS Ion/particle composition in Saturn's magnetosheath & Titan's atmosphere
MAG Direction and strength of Saturn's magnetic field
MIMI Energy state, composition, and charge state of ions & electrons
RPWS Radio waves and plasma waves within Saturn's system

 

The MIMI instrumentation consists of three sensor heads: the Low Energy Magnetospheric Measurement System (LEMMS), the Charged Energy Mass Spectrometer (CHEMS), and the Ion and Neutral Camera (INCA).

 

ACRONYM TYPE OF INVESTIGATION
LEMMS Energy and spatial distribution of energetic particles 
CHEMS Energy and composition of ions between 10-220 keV/charge
INCA Particles accelerated in solar energetic particle events


Additional information at Fundamental Technologies, LLC:



Updated 1/2/19, Cameron Crane

QUICK FACTS

Manufacturer: The Cassini spacecraft was manufactured by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Huygens Probe was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space.

Mission Duration: The Cassini-Huygens mission launched on October 15 1997, and ended on September 15 2017.

Destination: Cassini's destination was Saturn and its moons. The destination of the Huygens Probe's was Saturn's moon Titan.

Orbit: Cassini orbited Saturn for 13 years before diving between its rings and colliding with the planet on September 15th, 2017.