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  Cassini gets set for Saturn orbit
Updated 29 June 2004, 22.12
Saturn
The space probe Cassini is getting ready to begin it's mission to Saturn to study the planet and its many moons.

It's scheduled to pass through a gap in Saturn's famous rings before making an engine burn to slow it down enough to enter the planet's orbit.

The burn out will begin at 03.36am on 1 July, with the braking manoeuvre planned to end at about 05.12.

This move will bring Cassini within about 18,000km (about 11,200 miles) of the mysterious ringed planet Saturn.

While Cassini is in Saturn's orbit, organisers hope it will take close up photos of the planet and it's rings.

But scientists have warned the craft will be flying too fast to take snaps of large areas.

It's also hoped Cassini will gather scientific data for about an hour while it is above Saturn's ring plane.

Long journey

The $3bn spacecraft's Saturn orbit will mark the end of Cassini's seven year journey across the solar system.

Highlights of the trip include Cassini's four gravity-assist fly-by manoeuvres to help carry it to the sixth planet from our Sun.

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