Rik's Ramblings

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Comment from a Space Geek

The following input was received from a space geek in response to my Cassini consternation.

    Cassini didn't actually pass through the rings of Saturn during SOI. What it did was pass through the Ring Plane. That's pretty much unavoidable if you go past Saturn - even Voyager had to do it.

    Now the wackos at JPL did expect there to be some material in the ring plane, but 'minefield' is a bit of a misnomer - the average particle size in the ring plane is the size of a grain of smoke. Cassini registered 100,000 hits in the five minutes it took to cross it.

100,000 hits and it took it on the chin - what a manly space-probe that was.


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