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.
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
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.