Explorations in 2010
- January 12
- The Cassini spacecraft made the first of six close encounters scheduled for this year with Saturn’s moon Titan. Titan is Saturn’s largest moon, and is surrounded by a dense, cold atmosphere topped by an orange hydrocarbon “smog.” This encounter will take Cassini within 667 miles (1,073 km) of Titan’s surface.
- February 11
- Solar Dynamics Observatory, a much-delayed satellite designed to study the Sun’s magnetic field and the interactions between Earth and the solar wind, was launched from Cape Canaveral. The mission will provide new insights into space weather, which effects orbiting satellites, radio communications, ground-based power grids, and other modern technologies.