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S P E C I A L The Cassini Mission
animated gif
Courtesy Analytical Graphics
Cassini approaching Venus
 

Cassini spacecraft swings by Venus

April 26, 1998
Web posted at: 1:43 p.m. EDT (1743 GMT)

(CNN) -- The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft on Sunday was swinging by Venus as it continued on its six-year space journey to Saturn.

The spacecraft was using Venus' field of gravity to get a 26,280 kph (16,330 mph) boost.

The basic idea underlying Cassini's Venus trajectory is to use the gravity of planets to accelerate the spacecraft.

Cassini

During the planetary swingby there is an exchange of energy between the planet and spacecraft, enabling the spacecraft to increase its velocity (speed and direction) relative to the sun.

Sunday's maneuver is Cassini's first Venus flyby and places the spacecraft on course to encounter Venus for a second time in June 1999.


 
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