Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How much fuel does cassini have on board?

  1. Jun 13, 2004 #1
    Cassini has been flying around our solar system since 1997 and it still has years of flying to go.

    how much fuel does it have on board (or did have when it first set off)

    it can't be burning fuel all the time surely, it must use momentum for long journeys.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2004 #2
    Most spacecraft only make engine burns for short events such as course corrections and orbital insertions. Cassini has been coasting for the vast majority of the trip to Saturn.

    The exceptions to this rule are craft propelled by ion-drives, which operate for much longer periods. The tiny but steady thrust produced by these engines builds up over time to accelerate a vehicle to great speeds.

    You might be interested in NASA's Cassini-Huygens website:

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2004
  4. Jun 13, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Dramatic pics of the moon Phoebe at that NASA site.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook