THE SPACECRAFT ERA
In 1980 and 1981, the space-probes Voyagers 1 and 2 flew past the planet. Their close-up images of Saturn, its multi-tudinous rings, and the diverse family of moons revolutionized our view of the planet.
The spacecraft revealed new details in Saturn's cloud belts, showed the rings were ribbons of particles moving in complex mathematical resonances, and mapped the intricate geologies of most of the larger satellites.
In 2004, the Cassini space-craft is scheduled to go into orbit around Saturn and spend four years studying the Saturnian system. It will also place a lander on the moon Titan.