Cassini to crash into Saturn ending 20-year mission

Cassini was launched in 1997 and took seven years to travel two billion miles to Saturn, before embarking on a 13-year journey of discovery that delivered a wealth of scientific data on the planet and its moons.

The most prevalent and perhaps lasting "souvenir" of the Cassini mission is the image archive it filled over the past 20 years. Cassini also discovered the presence of organics on Saturn's icy moon Enceladus, leading to speculation that microbes or some other simple life could potentially be living there. Its seemingly endless stream of discoveries-from liquid oceans and other hints of habitability on Saturn's moon Enceladus to methane lakes and complex organic particles on Titan-are why its mission has been extended again and again. No spacecraft has ever been so close to Saturn.

Cassini arrived at Saturn on July 1, 2004, burning its main engine to slow down and be captured by Saturn's gravity.

It was the first successful landing on a world in the outer solar system.

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Hundreds of scientists, engineers and support staff have worked on the mission from around the world, Maize said.

That's pretty much how Jason remembers it as well, he went to JPL got involved in a small project and "ended up out there for several weeks in the end if I recall correctly, which was great, a lot of fun, and that was kind of the beginning of my involvement in planetary science".

"Cassini has been in a long-term relationship with Titan, with a new rendezvous almost every month for more than a decade". Built at Jet Propulsion Laboratory under the leadership of Robert Brown, operations for VIMS moved to the UA when Brown assumed a position as professor at LPL.

"Just as I was inspired as a kid by watching Apollo 11 land on the Moon, today's school kids have the opportunity to witness the spectacular finale of Cassini zooming through Saturn's rings".

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She laughed and replied: "Well, if we are only three, I don't know if it's advantage". "I felt like she was superior today". Kvitova , who is left-handed, wasn't sure she'd be able to hold a racket again.

In 2005, it was reported, observations of water jets that shot plumes of ice out of its atmosphere were made.

Cassini's imaging camera will take a last look at the Saturn system on the day before the plunge and will be off during this final descent.

Spilker, who joined the Voyager mission in 1977 and began on Cassini in 1988, is also prominently featured on "Death Dive to Saturn", but her memories are more personal. There was particular interest in Saturn's biggest moon Titan, which in some ways resembles an early version of Earth.

With Cassini running out of fuel, therefore being out of our control, they want to avoid the remote possibility of a collision with the moons Titan or Enceladus, which could both conceivably host life. Enceladus plows along the orbit of the E Ring, Saturn's second-from-outermost ring, which reaches extremely far out into space, brushing up against the orbit of Titan. This did a fast fly-by in November 1980, so only gave us a glimpse of Saturn, its rings, and its moons. When is Cassini expected to make it final transmission to earth? Instead, Cassini will be configured to run only those instruments that can sense the planet's near-space environment, such as its magnetic field, or that can sample the chemical composition of its gases. This will ensure they remain pristine for future exploration. "It's unbelievable to me even, what we were able to do right up until the end". "It won't go very deep, because it is not a probe created to go deep, but still deeper than anything else".

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But does Arizona realistically have a shot at securing Amazon's HQ2? "A similar layout to Amazon's Seattle campus". Austin is no stranger to putting together incentive packages together. "This move will not be cost driven".

Still, "this mission has been going for so long, it's a little hard to believe that it's over", he says.

  • Israel Montgomery