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# Spacecraft Sponsor Launch date .. Mission Remarks
1) AlSAT-1 / DMC 28 Nov 02 C Earth imaging
2) Alsat 2A 12 Jul 10 C Earth Remote Sensing
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© Claude Lafleur, 2004-10 Mes sites web: claudelafleur.qc.ca

 
1. 1. Huygens' 2005 landing on Titan revealed this moon to be remarkably like Earth before life evolved, with methane rain, erosion and drainage channels and dry lake beds. A soup of complex hydrocarbons, including benzene, was found in Titan's atmosphere.
2. 2. Discovery of active, icy plumes on Enceladus which was such a surprise that Cassini manager completely reshaped the mission to get a better look. The discovery became even more important when Cassini found evidence of water-based ice in the plume. so the search for life suddenly extended to this small, bright moon. And the recent discovery of signs of an subsurface ocean makes Enceladus one of the most exciting science destinations in our Solar system.
3. 3. Saturnís rings revealed as active and dynamic, a laboratory for how planets form. Cassini discovered propeller-like formations, witnessed the possible birth of a new moon and observed what may be one of the most active, chaotic rings in our solar system (Saturnís F ring).
4. 4. Cassiniís shows that Titan has many geologic processes similar to that of the Earth, generating methane rains, which build river channels and form lakes and seas containing liquid methane and ethane.
5. 5. Late in 2010, Saturnís relatively tranquil atmosphere erupted with a storm of gigantic proportions. Typically a 30-year storm, this one arrived ten years early. Within months, the storm grew to encircle the planet with a swirling band. The largest temperature increases ever recorded for any planet were measured. Molecules never before seen in Saturnís upper atmosphere were detected. The storm diminished shortly after its head collided with its tail, a little less than a year after it began.
6. 6. Radio-wave patterns shown not to be tied to Saturnís interior rotation as previously thought. Cassiniís instruments show that the variation in radio waves is different in the northern and southern hemispheres. The variations also appear to change with the Saturnian seasons and the hemispheres have actually swapped rates. Saturnís length of day is still not known.
7. 7. Once about every 15 years, the Sun shines on the edge of the ring plane and northern and southern sides of the rings receive little sunlight. Cassini measured the thick, long shadows from this rare event to determine the heights of structures within the rings.
8. 8. Titanís atmosphere is a zoo teaming with a variety of molecules, the most chemically complex in the Solar system. Beginning with sunlight and methane, ever more complex molecules form until they become large enough to form the smog that covers the giant moon. Nearer the surface, methane, ethane, and other organics condense and fall to the surface where likely other prebiotic chemistry can take place.
9. 9. The origin of Iapetus's two-faced surface has been a mystery for more than 300 years. The Cassini spacecraft solved the puzzle: dark, reddish dust in Iapetus's orbital path is swept up and lands on the leading face of the moon. The dark areas absorb energy and become warmer, while uncontaminated areas remain cooler.
10. 10. Saturnís polar regions have surprised scientists with a the presence of a long-lived hexagonal-shaped jet stream in the north and two hurricane-like storms at both poles. The driving forces of each remain a mystery. In the remaining years of Cassiniís mission, scientists hope to learn more of their properties and conditions surrounding their existence.