Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Over The Moon’ At Saturn

01.07.2004


UK scientists involved in the Cassini space mission were ‘over the Moon’ after the spacecraft’s 100,000 km per hour white knuckle ride courtesy of Saturn’s gravity which successfully completed the critical manoeuvre to place Cassini in orbit around the ringed planet. ‘I’ve waited 15 years for this moment,’ said Dr Andrew Coates of the UK’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory and Co-Investigator on the Cassini spacecraft’s Plasma Electron Spectrometer,’ and now our 4-year tour of discovery can really begin’.



Speaking from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California, Dr. Michele Dougherty of Imperial College London and Principal Investigator for the magnetometer instrument on Cassini, said,’ the spacecraft performed superbly tonight and critical data was taken during the 95 minute engine burn period. Analysis of this will begin in a few hours as soon as the data is transmitted back to Earth.’

Prof. Carl Murray from Queen Mary, University of London, involved on the Cassini cameras, was equally ecstatic,’ this is a remarkable achievement and a wonderful example of a successful, international collaboration. The arrival of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft at Saturn heralds a new age in our understanding of this majestic planet and its retinue of moons and rings. I have no doubt that the wealth of data to be returned will also provide unique insights into the origin and evolution of planetary systems. The next four years will be tremendously exciting for everybody."


A jubilant and relieved Prof. John Zarnecki of the UK’s Open University added, ’For me its been 7 years in the planning, 7 years of travel and 95 minutes of purgatory – but now we’ve made it and the next stop is Titan’. For Prof. Zarnecki, Principal and Co-Investigator on two key instruments onboard the Huygens probe currently piggy backing the Cassini mothership, there are still more nail-biting moments ahead. Huygens will separate from Cassini on the 25 December this year and parachute down through the nitrogen-rich atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, to land on the surface on the 14 January 2005.

The Saturn Orbit Insertion was the last and most critical manoeuvre for the Cassini orbiter and the spacecraft, which is in perfect shape, will now commence science operations during its 76 orbits of the ringed planet.

Over the next few months the European Space Agency’s scientists, including Prof. John Zarnecki and colleagues, will prepare for the release of the Huygens probe.

Julia Maddock | alfa
Further information:
http://www.pparc.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
20.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
19.10.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>