It is approximately a two year journey for NASA capsules to reach Saturn from Earth via a slingshot around Mars. TARS elaborates that it would take eight months to reach Mars then fourteen months to Saturn. In that time, the robot assigned to the mission (one each in the case of Lazarus, two in the case of Endurance) maintains all functions of the craft while the crew are put into cryogenic sleep to conserve resources. The crew is revived before venturing through the wormhole.
- Saturn is the Roman god of the harvest and visually impressive; it makes sense for the wormhole to be there thematically.
- As possible homage, Saturn's orbit is where the Monolith was in 2001: A Space Odyssey as well (in the book only; in the movie it was Jupiter).
- Saturn's rings also mimic the shape of the accretion disk around Gargantua.