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Saturn - Missions to Saturn

In the past only three probes have visited the ringed planet with the current mission being the Cassini-Huygens. There are no further plans to visit Saturn.

In addition, you may want to check out AeroSpaceGuide. This site has some interesting facts as well as mission summaries.

Pioneer 11 was launched in May of 1973. The encounter of Jupiter was in December of 1974 and a visit of Saturn occurred in September of 1979. Contact was lost in November of 1995.

The most infamous of all probes, the Voyager series, was also designed to study the gas giants. Voyager 2 (launched before Voyager 1) was launched in August of 1977. The Jupiter flyby was in July 1979, the Saturn flyby was in August 1981, the Uranus flyby was in January 1986, and the Neptune flyby was in August 1989. The Voyager 2 has left the Solar System but is still in operation.

The Voyager 1 probe, launched in September of 1977, would only visit Jupiter and Saturn. The Voyager 2 probe was launched first after discovering the orbital positions of all four gas giants would allow the probes visit. Voyager 1 was launched as planned.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a two part, joint venture with the European Space Agency. The mission consists of:

The Cassini orbiter is NASA's portion of the mission and it carried the ESA's Huygens probes to Titan.

The probe was launched on October 15, 1997 and arrived for orbital insertion on July 1, 2004. The Huygens probe was released on December 24, 2004 and descended Titan's atmosphere and landed on January 14, 2005.

Details on the mission as well as current progress can be found at the Cassini-Huygens website.

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