Cassini-Huygens approaching Saturn and Titan

The Huygens probe separating from the Cassini spacecraft
26 May 2004

ESA PR 28-2004. Launched in October 1997, the ESA/NASA Cassini-Huygens mission is currently heading for Saturn.

While ESA’s Huygens probe will be the first ever to land on the surface of a moon in the outer Solar System, NASA’s Cassini orbiter will continue to explore Saturn and its rings.

After an almost seven-year journey and four gravity-assist swing-by manoeuvres the spacecraft will be inserted into its orbit around Saturn on 30 June (Pacific Daylight Time, 1 July CET) and reach its closest approach to Saturn. The Huygens probe will be detached from its mother ship on 25 December and land on Titan in January next year.

On 3 June a press conference will take place at NASA Headquarters, Washington, with ESA participation, to present the mission and outline milestones and upcoming media activities.

Media representatives can follow this press conference from ESA/ESOC, where several project representatives will be present, together with David Southwood, ESA Director of Science, or from one of the other ESA establishments. They are requested to complete the attached reply form and fax it to the Communication office at the establishment of their choice.

The ESA TV service will also broadcast the press conference via Eutelsat W1. Further information concerning the retransmission schedule can be found on http://television.esa.int.

Note to editors:

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperation between NASA, the European Space Agency and ASI, the Italian space agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is managing the mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington.

For further information:

Franco Bonacina
ESA Media Relations Division
Tel:+33.(0)1.5369.7155
Fax:+33.(0)1.5369.7690

Don Savage
NASA Public Affairs, Office of Space Science
Tel:+1.202.358.1727
Fax:+1.202.358.3093

ESA website: http://saturn.esa.int (active as of 3 June 2004)
NASA website: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

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