The Ball of Yarn: Cassini’s Orbits

April 22, 2017
CreditNASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech
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This computer-generated animation shows all of Cassini's orbits - affectionaly called the "ball of yarn" by mission planners. The time frame spans Saturn Orbit Insertion on July 1, 2004 to the end of mission on Sept. 15, 2017.

Color key:

Green: Prime Mission (2004-2008)

Orange: Equinox Mission (2008-2010)

Purple: Solstice Mission (2010-2017)

Additional versions focusing on various phases of the mission are available for download to the right. There is also an animated GIF of the full mission orbits.

These visualizations were created by Cassini mission planner Erick Sturm.