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Science & Exploration

N° 28–2004: Cassini/Huygens approaching Saturn and Titan

26 May 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

* 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



Don Savage

NASA Public Affairs, Office of Space Science



ESA website:

NASA website:

Cassini/Huygens press conference


3 June 2004


15:30 Doors open/registration

15:45 Start of broadcast programme

15:50 Statement by David Southwood, ESA Director of Science, live from ESOC

16:00 Retransmission of the press conference from NASA Headquarters, Washington


Ed Weiler, Director of NASA’s Science Programme

Robert Mitchell, NASA’s Cassini Programme Manager

Jean-Pierre Lebreton, ESA’s Project Scientist and Mission Manager

16:50 Questions and answers

17 :00 End of press conference


First name :_______________Surname :________________________

Media :_____________________________________________________




Tel : ___________________ fax: _____________________________

Mobile :__________________ e-mail:__________________________

I will be attending the Cassini/Huygens press conference at the following site:

[ ]Germany:

Location: ESA/ESOC

Address: Robert-Bosch Strasse 5, Darmstadt, Germany

Opening hours: 15:30–17:30

Contact: Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin

Tel: +49(0)6151.90.26.96

Fax: +49(0)6151.90.29.61

[ ]Italy

Location: Ada Byron Room - ESA/ESRIN

Address: Via G. Galilei, Frascati (Rome), Italy

Opening hours: 15:30-17:00

Contact: Franca Morgia

Tel:+39.06.9418.0951 - Fax:+39.06.9418.0952

[ ] France

Location: ESA HQ

Address: 8-10 Rue Mario Nikis, 75015 Paris

Opening hours: 15:30-17:00



Please complete the form and fax it to the site of your choice


For further information:

ESA Media Relations Division

Tel: +33.(0)1.5369.7155

Fax: +33.(0)1.5369.7690