Cassini Spacecraft To Live Stream Final Mission Diving into Saturn's Atmosphere

NASA will livestream Cassini’s final moments tomorrow

NASA will livestream Cassini’s final moments tomorrow

After 13 years orbiting the giant ringed planet and exploring its moons, the unmanned, nuclear-powered probe will be incinerated at 7:55 am EDT (4:55 am PDT) on September 15 in a planned maneuver that will see it plunge into Saturn's upper atmosphere.

Cassini's imaging team leader Carolyn Porco was appointed to the mission while on the faculty at LPL, where she had been working on NASA's Voyager mission, and was a co-originator of the idea to use Voyager-1 to take portraits of the planets, including the famous Pale Blue Dot image of Earth. It's information that will be studied and analyzed by scientists long after the end of Cassini. No spacecraft has ever been so close to Saturn.

"That will enable sampling instruments, particularly the ion and neutral mass spectrometer, to get data as deep into the atmosphere as Cassini will permit it", he said. There are some huge gaps in the rings where the atmosphere is silent and less dusty.

On Monday, Cassini began its final orbit around Saturn.

Instead of allowing Cassini to crash where it may, scientists have programmed the spacecraft to plunge into Saturn's atmosphere all in the name of protecting the planet's natural satellites. "But Cassini will not go quietly".

"We've had an incredible 13-year journey around Saturn, returning data like a giant firehose, just flooding us with data", project scientist Linda Spilker said this week from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The team made a decision to destroy Cassini out of fear it could crash into Enceladus or Titan, two of the most likely candidates for life elsewhere in our solar system.

Mission scientists and operators are giving Cassini this fiery send-off on goal.

Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content - we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. There are fascinating images of geysers shooting from Enceladus's south pole, lovely images of Saturn's rings (including one with Saturn's shadow falling on them), and a zoomed-in view of Epimetheus (another of Saturn's moons).

By destroying Cassini, NASA ensures that spacecraft doesn't inadvertently contaminate either moon with microbes carried billions of miles from Earth.

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Also , they do a demo in which they make a phone call to team member Deirdre Caldbeck, who's paddle-boarding in Lake Tahoe. Apple is playing catchup to rivals like LG and Samsung, who have released phones whose screens run almost edge-to-edge.

While orbiting Saturn almost 300 times, Cassini made major discoveries, such as the liquid methane seas of the planet's giant moon Titan and the sprawling subsurface ocean of Enceladus, a small Saturn moon.

Since April, the craft has been making a series of dives between the planet and its rings in what NASA has dubbed The Grand Finale.

But Friday's dive will be like no other.

The mission's precious final data shall be relayed to Earth while entering the Saturn's atmosphere.

It is known as the Cassini-Huygens mission because it delivered ESA's Huygens probe to Titan - the "first descent and landing on a world in the outer solar system", according to NASA.

Esposito says Cassini has helped scientists better understand Saturn.

Its demise will be the end of a space mission that has yielded an unprecedented amount of knowledge about a mysterious planet.

It took seven years from its 1997 launch to reach Saturn, travelling two billion miles. "You can think of Cassini as becoming the first Saturn probe".

Cassini's mission will end because the aircraft is running low on fuel.

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