It has been almost ten years since the international spacecraft Cassini (NASA/ESA/ASI) arrived at the Saturn system. Since then, every day brings new knowledge about the gas giant and its surroundings. Cassini went into orbit around Saturn in July 2004, but today I will focus on events that occurred even before that.
The flight plan included a close flyby of one of Saturn’s outer irregular moons. No one else had ever accomplished this before, despite the fact that dozens of such moons orbit not only Saturn, but also Jupiter. So a couple of weeks before the arrival of the probe to the target planet, on June 11, 2004, Cassini flew within 2,068 kilometers of the moon Phoebe.