Join in the Cassini name game

April 11, 2014
In its next phase, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will perform 22 loops between Saturn and its innermost ring. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As NASA's Cassini mission approaches its 10th anniversary at Saturn, its team members back here on Earth are already looking ahead to an upcoming phase.

Starting in late 2016, the Cassini spacecraft will repeatedly climb high above Saturn's , flying just outside its narrow F ring. Cassini will probe the water-rich plume of the active geysers on the planet's intriguing moon Enceladus, and then will hop the rings and dive between the planet and innermost ring 22 times.

Because the spacecraft will be very close to Saturn, the team has been calling this phase "the proximal orbits." But they think someone out there can conjure up a cooler name. Here's where you come in: you can choose your faves from a list already assembled, or you can submit your own ideas (up to three). The big reveal for the final name will be in May 2014.

This naming contest is part of the 10-year anniversary celebration. The mission will mark a decade of exploring Saturn, its rings and moons on June 30 PDT (July 1 EDT).

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

For more information on the contest, visit: http://.jpl.nasa.gov/name

Explore further: Saturn's rings are back

Related Stories

Saturn's rings are back

July 10, 2012

(Phys.org) -- It's been nearly two years since NASA's Cassini spacecraft has had views like these of Saturn's glorious rings. These views are possible again because Cassini has changed the angle at which it orbits Saturn ...

Saturn's B-ring: Taking a closer look

September 11, 2012

(Phys.org)—Clumpy particles in Saturn's B-ring provide stark contrast to the delicately ordered ringlets seen in the rest of this view presented by the Cassini spacecraft.

Saturn shows off its shadow

September 21, 2012

Take a look up at the enormous shadow cast by Saturn onto its own rings in this raw image, acquired by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on September 18, 2012.

Cassini releases image of Earth waving at Saturn

August 21, 2013

(Phys.org) —People around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASA's Cassini mission on July 19—the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth ...

Image: Saturn's rings and hexagonal polar storm

February 4, 2014

Just as Saturn's famous hexagonal shaped jet stream encircles the planet's north pole, the rings encircle the planet, as seen from Cassini's position high above. Around and around everything goes!

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

August 25, 2015

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.