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Fall 1999 RITTI Conference. Mark M. Gadbois. RI Solar System Ambassador. 1999 RITTI Conference. Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn Galileo’s continued mission at Jupiter Solar System Ambassador Program Student involvement. Cassini-Huygens. Cassini.

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Mark m gadbois
Mark M. Gadbois

RI Solar System Ambassador

1999 ritti conference
1999 RITTI Conference

  • Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn

  • Galileo’s continued mission at Jupiter

  • Solar System Ambassador Program

  • Student involvement


  • The mission is named in honor of the seventeenth-century, French-Italian astronomer Jean Dominique Cassini, who discovered the prominent gap in Saturn's main rings, as well as the icy moons Iapetus, Rhea, Dione, and Tethys.


  • The ESA Titan probe is named in honor of the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens, who discovered Titan in 1655, followed in 1659 by his rediscovery of a ring system surrounding the planet. Huygens was also famous for his invention of the pendulum clock, the first accurate timekeeping device.

Cassini huygens mission objectives sic
Cassini-Huygens Mission Objectives (sic)

  • to return information about the Saturn system; its rings, moons, magnetosphere, and last but not least, the planet itself.

  • to have the spacecraft captured in orbit about Saturn and provide the opportunity for an on-site observatory to map the vast realm for many years

Small miracles
Small Miracles

  • 900,000,000 miles (1,430,000,000 kilometers)

  • 6.7 years flight time

  • “gravity assists”

Fall 1999 ritti conference

Did you know...?When the Voyager spacecraft flew by Jupiter, it gained 16 kilometers (10 miles) per second of speed at a cost of slowing down Jupiter by 1 foot every trillion years!


  • Scheduled to arrive on July 1, 2004

  • Deployment of the Huygens probe to Titan is scheduled for November 5, 2004 with the probe scheduled to enter the atmosphere of Titan on Nov 27.

  • Why go?

More information
More information...

  • Cassini-Huygens models (1/37th and 1/40th scale) www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini/model

  • Cassini Home Page - www.jpl.nasa.gov/cassini




Galileo Europa Mission

The hurdles
The Hurdles

  • Challenger explosion in Jan 86 grounded the shuttle fleet until problems were fixed.

  • Centaur rocket forbidden to be carried aboard a shuttle

  • VEEGA gravity assist

  • Flying closer to the sun than originally designed

  • Aging, navigational hardware

The bonus
The bonus

  • Venus

  • Earth/Moon

  • Asteroid 951 (Gaspra)

  • Asteroid 243 (Ida) & Dactyl

  • Shoemaker-Levy 9


  • Launched from Atlantis on Oct 18, 1989

  • Primary orbit achieved Dec 95

  • Two year mission ended (with funding) in Dec 97

  • New funding achieved to continue mission until Dec 99

  • Flybys of Europa and Io

A new focus
A new focus

  • Concentrating on the unique moon Europa, the second portion of the Galileo mission has discovered new & exciting possibilities.

  • Our first views of Europa, through Pioneer 10 and 11 gave fuzzy views of yellow plains, mottled areas, & cracks - thousands of kilometers long

Galileo images
Galileo images

  • Small blocks of crust float over an invisible sea

  • Tidal flexing

  • Volcanic ice flows

  • Liquid water ocean?

  • Life?

Key to life
Key to Life

  • Very High Resolution Image of Icy Cliffs on Europa and Similar Scales on Earth (Providence, RI)

Key to life1
Key to Life

  • "The combination of interior heat, liquid water, and infall of organic material from comets and meteorites means that Europa has the key ingredients for life," Head says. "Europa, like Mars and the Saturn moon Titan, is a laboratory for the study of conditions that might have led to the formation of life in the solar system."

Fall 1999 ritti conference

  • The most volcanically active body in the solar system.

  • Some of its features change within weeks

Chemical physical activity
Chemical & Physical activity

  • No impact craters

  • Sulfur and frozen sulfer dioxide

  • Iron core

  • Sodium gas and sulfur ions in the torus of Io’s orbit


  • While Olympus Mons (Mars) may be the largest volcano in the solar system, it has been dormant for hundreds of thousands of years

  • Io, launches streams of fluidic sulfurs and silicates over 60 km from the surface. The particles freeze and fall back to the surface as a sulfur dioxide snow

Coming soon
Coming soon...

  • Galileo flyby of Io on Nov 26th at a distance of about 300 km as compared to the Oct 11 flyby at 611 km

Solar system ambassador

Solar System Ambassador

Jet Propulsions Laboratory Community Education and Outreach


  • Four presentations to the public on current space missions

  • ……


  • Stuff

  • More stuff

  • More free stuff

How to apply
How to apply...

  • www.jpl.nasa.gov/ambassador

  • 17 page applications

  • not a cyclical process

Student involvement
Student involvement

  • Three presentations

  • PowerPoint

  • Parental invitations

  • Extra Credit assignments

  • video tape

Curriculum integration
Curriculum integration

  • Public speaking

  • Technology

  • Current events

  • Nature of the universe

  • Recognition of bias in data