Cassini Spacecraft Nears Saturn, Photographs Moon

After a seven-year, roundabout planetary voyage, the international Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is poised to begin a four-year tour of Saturn, its rings, and its 31 known moons, including Earthlike Titan. Already the craft has captured unprecedented views of the moon Phoebe (see image at right).

“In some sense, we’ll write the book on Saturn. I know that’s sort of a glib phrase, but that’s what we’ll do,” said Dennis Matson, project scientist for the Cassini-Huygens mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.