The NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is due to arrive at Saturn on 1 July 2004.
This will mark the end of the spacecraft’s journey through the Solar System as well as the beginning of its tour of Saturn, its rings, moons and magnetosphere. The spacecraft will approach Saturn from below the ring plane, and will cross through the large gap between the F Ring and G Ring. The spacecraft’s main engine will fire (or ‘burn’) shortly after passing through the rings to slow Cassini-Huygens enough to be captured by Saturn’s gravity. This is called Saturn Orbit Insertion (SOI).
The main engine will be turned to face the direction of travel, and the resulting thrust from the engine will act as a braking device, which will slow down the spacecraft as it enters Saturn’s orbit.
Guido De Marchi | alfa
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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