Saturn is the sixth Planet from the Sun. Beginning in the late 1979 and the 1980s Saturn became a location of interest for the Space Program.
Exploration & History
The first spacecraft to reach Saturn was the Pioneer 11 spacecraft in September 1979. This initial flyby provided the first in depth study of not only Saturn itself but also its own system of rings, moons, magnetic fields and other items of interest.
In 1980 the Voyager 1 & Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Saturn providing an even deeper understanding of the history and origins of Saturn, its rings, its moons and where its potential future lies.
In 1982 the Voyager 3 & Voyager 3 spacecraft encountered the ringed planet, this time from a different angle and trajectory pathway than the previous two probes giving NASA a completely different look at the interactions within and outside the Saturn System.
In 1983 two Mariner-class probes which were originally aimed to flyby Jupiter (and deploy atmospheric probes) have since continued on an extended mission to flyby Saturn and gain further knowledge about this other great world.
In 1984 two Saturn Orbiters Cassini and Herschell entered orbit around the planet. The spacecraft began to make extended observations of the various Moons orbiting the planet, the trillions of icy moonlets within Saturn various rings and the cloud tops that mark the planet's surface. In turn two separate probes were released to survey the Atmospheres of Saturn and its moon Titan. The Titan probe managed to make it to the surface transmitting a single photo in its four hours of scientific transmitting. The Saturn probe on the other hand eventually disintegrated as it dove into the deeper, denser and hotter layers. The Orbiters remained in operation until 1992 when they were deliberately crashed to prevent contamination of potentially habitable locations.