Cassini: the conclusion

Cassini: the conclusion

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The Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system has been one of mankind's most spectacular exploratory space missions so far. The mission has explored the glorious rings, icy satellites, Titan and the magnetosphere, revolutionising our understanding of this gas giant. New discoveries include the plumes and sub-surface ocean of Enceladus, complex chemistry in Titan's atmosphere and methane-driven surface erosion, a hexagon shape and storms in Saturn's atmosphere, and solar wind and moon effects on Saturn's aurora. Much more is to come before the mission ends in September 2017, following a daring sequence of orbits outside and then inside Saturn's main rings. We will describe some of the main achievements of the mission and plans for the Grand Finale.

 

About Andrew Coates

Professor Andrew Coates gained a BSc in Physics from Manchester UMIST, and MScand D.Phil. in plasma physics from Oxford University. He is now Deputy Director (Solar System) at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL). Andrew leads the Electron Spectrometer (ELS), part of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) team, and discovered large hydrocarbon ions at Titan. He is also Principal Investigator for the PanCam instrument on the ExoMars 2020 rover, and led the stereo camera system on Beagle 2. Other space mission involvements include JUICE, Venus Express, Mars Express and Giotto. Scientific interests include plasma interactions with planets, moons and comets, planetary surfaces, and space instrumentation; he has authored and co-authored over 480 publications.