Space scientists eager for Cassini mission

October 10, 1997

British scientists will be watching with bated breath this week for the launch of one of the most ambitious space missions since planetary exploration began.

The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft, an international Pounds 2.5 billion venture involving the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the European Space Agency, is due for launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Monday. It is possibly the last massive space mission as both Nasa and Esa enter an age of cheaper, quicker space missions. Britain has so far spent Pounds 7.4 million helping to build instruments for Cassini and its probe Huygens which will travel together to reach Saturn in 2004.

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