An oral history of the Cassini mission to Saturn

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Link here. Those who have read my book on the building of the Hubble Space Telescope will recognize many of the same people and political maneuvers used to get the project off the ground and funded.

Note too that the idea of Cassini was first proposed in 1982, but it didn’t actually launch until 1997. Fifteen years. While today I think such a spacecraft could go from concept to launch much faster, this timeline gives us a guide on when the next Saturn orbiter might launch. At the earliest do not expect another mission to Saturn to launch before 2025.



  • Wayne Kosch

    20 years of service for Cassini that is amazing. Just think how much has changed in that 20 years. Computers, vehicles and life was so different in 1997. Hats off to the people who have worked on this project from day one.

  • David

    Wayne: You’re so right; hats off to all those who have and continue to work on this mission both here in the U.S. and the European Space Agency also. What a mission!

    Earlier this evening (9/13/17), I watched a new Nova show on PBS that was about the Cassini mission. In my opinion, it was a decent show for any who might want to catch it – 50 minutes show.

    Mr. Zimmerman, I want to say “Thank You Very Much Sir!” for your many commentaries and essays on this mission thru time. Truly first class work you’ve done.

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