Cassini-Huygens launch, 1997

Cassini-Huygens launch, 1997

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cassini-Huygens launch. Launch of the Cassini-Huygens mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, on top of a Titan IV-Centaur rocket. The rocket consists of a two-stage liquid propellant core, with two solid rocket boosters (solid rocket motor upgrades, SRMUs) either side. This launch took place at 08:43 UTC on 15 October 1997. This is a joint NASA-ESA mission. After a journey of seven years, the spacecraft reached Saturn and NASA's Cassini orbiter released the ESA's Huygens probe. Huygens descended to the surface of Titan, and the Cassini spacecraft entered orbit around Saturn and began an extensive survey of the planet. Huygens was the first probe to land on a world in the outer Solar System. Cassini's mission was later extended to 2017.

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