Status Report

Pre-event VNR: Cassini-Huygens arrives at Saturn ESA TV Exchanges

By SpaceRef Editor
June 28, 2004
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29 June 09:15-09:30 GMT

Replay I: 29 June 18:45-19:00 GMT
Note: Because of the 29 June EuroTop, Replay 1 might be delayed. Please watch the ESA TV Website

Replay II: 3 July 09:00 – 09:15 GMT

In the night 30 June to 1 July, the European-American Cassini-Huygens mission will enter the realms of Saturn, the second-biggest planet in our Solar system. The spacecraft will fire its main engine to reduce its speed, allowing Cassini-Huygens to be captured by Saturn’s gravity and enter orbit.

It will then begin a four-year mission that includes more than 70 orbits around the ringed planet and its moons. Pointing its various instruments at carefully calculated scientific targets, Cassini will collect detailed data on Saturn, its fascinating rings and the 30 known moons orbiting this gas giant. The information will aid scientists in understanding the fascinating and most complex system orbiting the Sun.

The joint NASA-ESA-ASI mission Cassini-Huygens was launched in October 1997. After traveling 1 billion kilometers through space, its main objective is the exploration of Saturn and its satellites. While the Huygens probe will be the first one ever to land on the surface of a moon in the outer Solar System, the Cassini orbiter will continue to explore Saturn and its rings.

The insertion of Cassini-Huygens into an orbit around Saturn is a highly complex operation, and not completely without any hazards. The spacecraft will pass as close as 20000 kilometres above the rings of Saturn, spectacular images of which with details as small as some metres are expected, within hours after the insertion. Early science will also reveal fascinating details of Saturn?s gaseous enclosure.

This Video News Release includes the footage required to cover the Saturn Orbit Insertion: new 3-D graphics, shots of Cassini-Huygens development, results of the Phoebe fly-by on 11 June 2004, and soundbites by European and American scientists.

The programme includes an A-roll of five minutes (split audio – English voiceover) and a B-roll of 8 minutes with clean international sound.

The script will be on-line as a PDF document under

A Media Player pre-view file can be downloaded from

This ESA TV Exchanges feed is transmitted by the European Commission’s “Europe by Satellite” (EbS) service. You can find the complete transmission schedule and download scripts and shot lists, also for ESA TV items, from the EbS Web site at

More backgroud information can be found on:

Transmission details:


Horizontal, F=12,476 MHz (MCPC, Europe by Satellite)

SpaceRef staff editor.