Cassini's Main Rocket Engines

Cassini has two 400-Newton main engines, one prime, and one backup. These can be sen at the bottom of the illustration below. The main engine is used to provide the relatively larger velocity changes to the spacecraft, such as during Saturn Orbit Insertion.

The main engines receive fuel and oxidizer from propellant tanks mounted in the central core of the spacecraft. In the illustration below, the fuel tank can be seen above, and a small part of the oxidizer tank can be seen below. The propellents ignite spontaneously when mixed within the engine.

Each main engine is gimballed so that its pointing can be adjusted slightly while firing, under control of the attitude and articulation control computers. This helps keep the thrust along the spacecraft's center of mass.

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Propulsion Systems in the Basics of Space Flight