Cassini's Jupiter Slingshot

In today’s space history installment, ten years ago — December 30, 2000 — the Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter on its way to its rendezvous with Saturn.

(Jupiter, taken by the Cassini spacecraft. NASA mosaic image.)

Cassini used Jupiter’s gravity in the now almost passe “slingshot” maneuver to propel it farther out in the solar system toward Saturn. It flew by Jupiter at a distance of 6 million miles (9.7 million kilometers).

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