Questions tagged [saturn]

For space exploration questions about the planet Saturn, the 6th planet of our solar system. For the rockets with the same name, use the tag [saturn-v] or [saturn-i].

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Would we include the main engine shield if we were designing the Cassini orbiter today?

The Cassini spacecraft flew two bipropellant main engines for major trajectory changes, each with a nominal thrust of 445N (100 lb for us Americans). The engines were located at the aft end of the ...
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1 vote
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What should be the mission plan in order to reach TITAN (SATURN) by a group of 15 people for Scientific Exploration? [closed]

I am working on a project where we have to design a Mission to TITAN by Digitally construct and document the development of a six-month long human settlement on Titan (Moon), bearing the capability to ...
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Why do Saturn's rings have the most ice in them?

From what I've read, Saturn's rings are the most visible because they have an icy structure that makes it so the light is more reflective. Why is that the case, and why do other rings of the gas ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Where is the Selk crater on Titan with respect to Saturn?

The Dragonfly mission to Titan will land at the Selk crater. Titan is tidally locked in synchronous rotation with Saturn and I'm trying to find out if Dragonfly will be on the Saturn-facing side of ...
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3 votes
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How did Cassini orbit Saturn with such little power? [closed]

This 6-ton device entered the orbit of Saturn, and even went to the fondant module on Titan. I would like to ponder - how did they do such a thing with their small carriers? Oh yes! Gravitational ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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How much ice from the most suitable icy moon(let) could a spacecraft, launched with an SLS Block 2, transport to the upper atmosphere of Venus?

When starting to terraform Venus, working people there would have to live first in the upper atmosphere for a long, long time because there are the most Earth like conditions. But the water there is ...
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1 answer
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Use of SRB for Saturn V [duplicate]

In 1967, a solid fuel rocket motor with 260 inch diameter and 89 inch throat dia, was tested, and it was found to generate 5.8 million pounds of thrust. This was much higher than the F1 engines used ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is it possible to send a CubeSat to Saturn/Enceladus?

I was wondering if it is technologically possible to send a CubeSat/Nanosatellites or constellation of nanosatellites to explore the water vapor jets in the southern region of Enceladus in the Saturn ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Why did Pioneer 11 use a gravitational assist to swing above the ecliptic plane... twice?

This answer to What do the shaded vertical lines in the animation of Gravity assists of space probes, mean? shows that the Pioneer 11 trajectory brought it close to both Jupiter and Saturn, and at ...
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4 votes
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Hydrocarbons of Titan: Potential Applications

Imagine in the future that some space agency or corporation has deployed a manned mission to Saturn's moon Titan with the intent of collecting samples of its hydrocarbons. This is to be accomplished ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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How does the dynamics of the Jupiter and Saturn system make them be well suited for low-energy transfer?

Many papers mention that the compact and complex dynamics of the Jupiter and Saturn systems makes them ideal low energy transfer. My question is how? How does the dynamics of the Jupiter and Saturn ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Have gravitation multipoles of Jupiter and Saturn beyond J2 been measured or at least estimated? At least the zonal harmonics?

This excellent answer has me wondering if there are any measurements or estimates of gravitational multipole moments of Jupiter or Saturn beyond J2. Here is what I found for J2 (in unitless form) in ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Has any mission to Titan tested the idea of producing electricity from Saturn's magnetic field?

From an answer to Astronomy SE question How does Titan maintain the atmosphere And we know the idea of generating electricity with a coil orbiting through a planet's magnetic field is sound in ...
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9 votes
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Can Dragonfly make it to one of Titan's Lakes?

Dragonfly is a drone set to land on Titan in the mid 2030s. As I've read, Saturn - and thus, Titan - won't be in the right orbital position at the time to allow for direct contact with the drone if it ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What would you see while falling into Saturn's atmosphere?

So I’ve always wondered about what would happen if you fell into Saturn, would you just fall straight through since it’s a gas giant? This is presuming we have a suit that protects us from the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why does my Saturnian System simulation "rotate" over time?

I am attempting to create a "top-down view" of the Saturnian System, using the Keplerian Elements + Rates provided here: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?sat_elem#saturn To verify the validity of my ...
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Iapetus - Destabilized rings to mountains?

I was reading an article about a ring that was destabilized out of orbit on one of Saturns moons. I got there by looking for mountains because of this question (unrelated mostly). Here's a picture of ...
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2 votes
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How large of a mirror would be needed to warm Titan up?

How large of a mirror would be needed to warm Titan up to ~290K? Paul Birch in his paper "Terroforming Mars Quickly" calculated a mirror size of: Support Mirror: 2.5 x 10^7m radius 3x 105m wide ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How were scientists able to experimentally confirm that Saturn's ravioli-shaped moons had highly porous surfaces?

The NASA News article NASA's Cassini Finds Saturn's Rings Coat Tiny Moons says: The new research, from data gathered by six of Cassini's instruments before its mission ended in 2017, is a clear ...
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1 answer
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How do Saturn's rings affect the surface of the planet?

How do Saturn's rings affect the surface of the planet, and could a possible habitable exo-planet have a similar ring pattern to Saturn? Besides the probable increase of asteroids hitting the planet ...
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How would humans with appropriate equipment travel the surface of Saturn's moon Titan on foot?

Taking into account the physical characteristics of Titan (e.g. surface gravity, atmospheric pressure), what would be the most efficient method of motion for an astronaut to travel the surface of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What delta-v per orbit would a spacecraft need to hover next to Saturn's rings?

In order to collect Saturn's ring particles for sample return to Earth, a spacecraft would need to share the orbit of this debris. If it is inclined it will have to pass through the rings twice each ...
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11 votes
3 answers
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Could a human jump off Mimas without return?

A similar question has already been asked on dwarf planet Ceres: Could a Human reach escape velocity by jumping from the surface of Ceres (a dwarf planet)? Ceres has 2.9% of Earth's gravity. Saturn's ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Piggybacking to Enceladus

The latest NASA New Frontiers selection did not select any finalist proposals to Enceladus, which is one of the most promising targets for life in the solar system. It did however select Dragonfly, ...
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3 votes
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Saturn is "singing" to Enceladus? [duplicate]

This article claims Cassini, during its final few weeks around Saturn, detected plasma waves that were directed at Enceladus. How do we know these detected plasma waves were "directed" at Enceladus? ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What is the nature of a "flux tube" between Saturn and Enceladus, and what does "L‐shell=4" mean?

The NASA JPL YouTube video Sounds of Saturn: Hear Radio Emissions of the Planet and Its Moon Enceladus (below, also here) provides and audio and spectral representation of plasma waves recored by ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Why haven't Saturn's rings coalesced into moons/satellites? [closed]

The rings of Saturn are made up of tiny particles/rocks/ice that all orbit Saturn. Each individual particle is bound to its orbit because of Saturn's gravity, but each particle also pulls on all of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the solar flux on Titan?

I' trying to solve for the surface temperature Ts=((n+1)So(1-A)4)1/4, and thus So=L/4𝞹a2 but I cannot seem to find the value for solar flux or its luminosity.
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4 votes
2 answers
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How old is the underground lake on Enceladus?

They always talk about how there might be life on Enceladus, but how old is this lake really? I would imagine water being ejected from the moon is not a process that would last forever (because the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What video or imagery was captured onboard Cassini during its descent into Saturn's atmosphere?

I'm very interested to see first person what Saturn's upper atmosphere looked like as Cassini began its descent into it. What footage exists of this, an where can it be viewed? (I'm not interested in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
126 views

Photographs and Videos "of" Cassini

There are many images of Cassini with Saturn in the background on the internet. How are these photos taken? Is the video of Cassini disintegrating in Saturn's Atmosphere real or made using graphics?
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5 votes
3 answers
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Will Cassini contaminate Saturn?

Cassini is going to crash into Saturn later this month to avoid contaminating one of its moons. Why isn't anyone worried that Cassini will contaminate Saturn itself? Life might exist in Saturn's ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Cassini and the Huygens Probe [duplicate]

Why is Cassini self destructing in Saturn's atmosphere while the Huygens Probe was sent to land on Titan?
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8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is Cassini running out of fuel?

In their (misleadingly titled) article NASA's Cassini probe dives into Saturn's atmosphere, CNN reports Once the final five orbits are complete, Cassini will plunge towards Saturn, with seven ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is the evidence that the dunes of Titan are made of "water chips"?

The Southern California Public Radio news item What Cassini saw on Titan: 'Dunes of the Arabian desert' but made of water chips, not sand explains: "Little chips of water ice come off (the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What observations will Cassini take during its "Grand Finale"?

Cassini's Grand Finale is underway. What special observations will be taken during this time that were not possible before the Grand Finale?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Amount of aerobraking to minimize Delta-V

Say a spacecraft is arriving at Saturn, can aerobrake arbitrarily, and wishes to arrive at Hyperion. How much should it aerobrake (i.e. what should the SMA be after aerocapture) to minimize the Delta-...
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1 vote
1 answer
283 views

Delta-V between Titan and other Saturnian moons

Does anyone have a table of the delta-V between Titan escape and other moons of Saturn? If not, could someone provide figures for Hyperion, Phoebe, Iapetus, and Enceladus? Or, more simply, what is the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
283 views

How much methane to push Titan into Saturn?

How much methane would have to be expended (think Raptor engine) to propel Titan into Saturn? It's clearly a humongous amount.
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5 votes
0 answers
244 views

What are the white streaks and specks in many of the Cassini images of Saturn?

I was looking at the Cassini raw images taken from Apr. 26, 2017 4:45 AM to 9:09 AM, and I noticed that some of them show a lot of white specks. Sometimes the specks appear to be streaks. What are ...
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5 votes
1 answer
411 views

Why Did Apollo Smoke Twist When Taking Off?

I've been looking at some references of rockets taking off. I came across the Apollo 14 Saturn V launch and noticed that when the rocket was taking off the smoke coming from around the rocket and from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
162 views

How will the Cassini spacecraft help constrain the mass of Saturn's rings?

In the BBC news article To see finally the face of Peggy (Peggy is a very small moonlet interacting with a ring) there is an audio interview with Carl Murray of Queen Mary University of London. After ...
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89 views

Saturn's Pan and Prometheus orbital resonance

Is it possible for a small object (such as a manned capsule) to realize a maneuver using the orbital resonance influence of Saturn's moons Pan and Prometheus?
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9 votes
1 answer
383 views

Why would Cassini need to reach 64 degrees inclination before "threading the needle"?

The NY Times article Cassini’s Final Mission: Obliteration says that the Cassini spacecraft will end it's more than a decade long exploration of the Saturn system by raising the inclination of its ...
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2 votes
0 answers
438 views

VASIMR technology for a manned trip to Saturn [closed]

I finished reading the novel "Saturn Run" by John Sandford and Ctein. Putting aside storyline and content of the novel there was a very interesting Author's note that explains how the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
75 views

What instruments are necessary to measure/determine the process that generates Saturn's internal heat?

I am writing a paper about a possible mission to Saturn but I am a business and Spanish student and am quite ignorant when it comes to the engineering and science behind probes and their instruments; ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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How long will Cassini survive its dive into Saturn's atmosphere?

The Cassini spacecraft has been exploring Saturn's system since 2004 and is scheduled to be sent into Saturn's atmosphere at the end of its mission following a final encounter with Titan in 2017. ...
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9 votes
3 answers
910 views

What does flying in Enceladus's plume accomplish?

I've been having a hard time understanding what flying through Enceladus's plume accomplishes. Cassini is an orbiter. It seems odd that it would have instruments that could even analyze the plume at ...
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3 votes
1 answer
488 views

Modifications to impulse burn trajectory for low thrust propulsion

I have to design a space mission to Saturn as part of a course on spacecraft and system engineering. I found a suitable trajectory but, as the Δv is quite high, I would like to adapt it to Ion ...
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  • 309
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Titan trajectories options

As a little project in a course of spacecraft design, I have to plan a mission to Saturn's moon Titan. The recommended trajectory is Hohmann transfer since it's easy to calculate the delta-V and ...
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