On 6 October 1997 NASA plans to launch a space probe named Cassini which, if all goes to plan, will follow a convoluted path which will take it past Venus in April 1998 and again in June 1999 before it repasses close to Earth in August 1999. By then it will have gained enough speed to set out to more distant planets and after passing Jupiter at the end of the millennium (i.e. at the end of the year 2000) it should reach Saturn on 25 June 2004, where it will spend four years studying that planet and its satellites.
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