To the question Chandrayaan 2: How has life of the orbiter increased from 1 year to more than 7 years? I was going to mention Juno and Cassini, but I couldn't figure out if I should say that Cassini was extended twice, or three times.

Wikipedia's Cassini–Huygens says:

Cassini's planners originally scheduled a mission of four years, from June 2004 to May 2008. The mission was extended for another two years until September 2010, branded the Cassini Equinox Mission. The mission was extended a second and final time with the Cassini Solstice Mission, lasting another seven years until September 15, 2017, on which date Cassini was de-orbited to burn up in Saturn's upper atmosphere.

So that sounds like an original four year mission from June 2004 to May 2008 and two extensions in toto; until September 2010 and again until September 2017, ending in de-orbit.

In this answer I also state that there were two extensions.

However, the sidebar in the same Wikipedia article shows the following three named extensions:

Mission duration

Overall: - 19 years, 335 days - 13 years, 76 days at Saturn

En route: - 6 years, 261 days

Prime mission:

  • 3 years

Extended missions:

  • Equinox: 2 years, 62 days
  • Solstice: 6 years, 205 days
  • Finale: 4 months, 24 days

Question: So were there only two extensions, or three extensions, or is it only a question of semantics?


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