[Fwd: Relations, Esa Public Cassini launch]

cyberkil (n9npo@amsat.org)
Wed, 15 Oct 1997 23:51:34 +0000

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Brandon S. Sluder
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Subject:      Relations, Esa Public     Cassini launch
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N  32-97 - Paris, 15 October 1997

Successful Launch of Cassini-Huygens Mission

ESA's latest and farthest venture into the Solar System began
at 10:43 Paris time on 15 October. The American Titan
IVB/Centaur launcher sent NASA's large Cassini spacecraft
on its way to Saturn. Cassini carries ESA's probe Huygens, as
well as the high-gain antenna provided by ASI, the Italian
Space Agency. In 2004 ESA's Huygens probe will plunge into
the thick atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

About 500 representatives of the scientific, engineering and
industrial teams in Europe, which created the Huygens Probe,
were present at Cape Canaveral for the Cassini Huygens
launch. They saw the powerful boosters of the Titan launcher
light up the pre-dawn sky.

The launch sequence concluded with the completion of the
second firing and separation of the Centaur upper stage
rocket. NASA's ground station at Canberra, Australia,
obtained good signals from Cassini an hour after launch.

The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) at Darmstadt
will monitor the condition of the Huygens spacecraft. Their
report is expected in 8-10 days'time.

The next major event will be the swingby of Cassini Huygens
at Venus on 21 April 1998. This is the first of a sequence of
"gravity-assist" operations at Venus, the Earth and Jupiter,
to accelerate the spacecraft.