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#919903 - 04/26/17 05:02 PM Cassini - the End
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
The Cassini spacecraft has been studying Saturn since 2004. The mission will end on September 15th this year - if not before. It will be making a series of dives that are quite dangerous. They could destroy the spacecraft, so they weren't carried out earlier. But now that the mission is ending it's an opportunity to learn more about the Saturnian system.

Here is an artist's rendering of Cassini above Saturn's northern hemisphere, heading toward its first dive between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech





Edited by Mona - Astronomy (09/15/17 05:42 AM)
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#919904 - 04/26/17 06:33 PM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
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#919914 - 04/26/17 10:35 PM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Nancy Roussy Offline
Amazing Poster Extraordinaire

Registered: 01/17/13
Posts: 13855
Loc: Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
This is so amazing that we have that technology!

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#919939 - 04/28/17 02:19 AM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
On April 26, Cassini made its first dive through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings. Yesterday it was sending the science and engineering data back to Earth through NASA's Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex - that's in the Mojave Desert in California.

Here is an one of the unprocessed images of Saturn's atmosphere released by NASA.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


Edited by Mona - Astronomy (04/28/17 02:22 PM)
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#919945 - 04/28/17 03:10 AM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Nancy Roussy Offline
Amazing Poster Extraordinaire

Registered: 01/17/13
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Loc: Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
Mona,

The link does not work, it says "Page not found".

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#919956 - 04/28/17 02:23 PM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Nancy Roussy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
Nancy, thanks for letting me know about this. It seems that I had a misplaced bracket, but I've corrected that.
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#923059 - 09/10/17 08:17 PM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
The Cassini mission ends in four days, and very dramatically. Steve Cariddi writes:
Quote:
After more than thirteen years spent orbiting Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft will end its historic mission this week with a controlled plunge into the ringed planet’s atmosphere. This fiery end is necessary because once Cassini’s maneuvering fuel runs out, it might end up crashing into—and inadvertently contaminating with earthly microbes—Enceladus or Titan, two Saturnian moons that are believed to have environments suitable for life. This cutaway illustration of Enceladus depicts possible hydrothermal activity that may be taking place on and under the sea floor of the moon’s ocean, which is trapped beneath a shell of ice. Europa is a prime target for future searches for life in the solar system because it has abundant sources of water, complex organic molecules, and a source of heat.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
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#923067 - 09/11/17 01:59 AM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Angie Offline
Elephant

Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 4717
I hope it is completely destroyed. Us earthlings are polluters that is for sure.
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#923076 - 09/11/17 11:21 AM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
I don't think anything would have much of a chance if sent plummeting into Saturn. And safe to say there would be no one there to complain! smile
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#923095 - 09/12/17 05:07 AM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
Deborah Byrd brings us up to date:
Quote:
The Cassini spacecraft made a final, distant flyby of the large moon Titan today (September 11, 2017). Mission engineers have been informally referring to this encounter as the goodbye kiss, because, as it occurs, Titan provides Cassini with a gravitational nudge that sends the spacecraft toward its dramatic ending in Saturn’s upper atmosphere this Friday, September 15. NASA said the Titan flyby went as planned today.

Artist's concept of Cassini making its final flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan. [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
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#923116 - 09/13/17 09:54 AM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
As I write this, the countdown shows that it's less than two days until the Cassini mission's dramatic end.

Here is a short video explaining the Grand Finale that Cassini has been undertaking. It has been closer to the planet than ever before and collecting some superb data.
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#923128 - 09/14/17 12:31 PM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
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Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
Mission scientists predict loss of contact with the Cassini spacecraft on September 15 at 7:55 a.m. EDT (11:55 UTC). Click to learn how to follow the mission’s fiery end online.
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#923142 - 09/15/17 05:41 AM Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy]
Mona - Astronomy Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Tiger

Registered: 05/01/10
Posts: 6015
Loc: United Kingdom
Edited report from the BBC:

The American-led Cassini space mission to Saturn has just come to a spectacular end. Controllers had commanded the probe to destroy itself by plunging into the planet's atmosphere.

Cassini had run out of fuel and Nasa had determined that the probe should not be allowed to simply wander uncontrolled among Saturn and its moons.

The loss of signal from the spacecraft occurred right on cue. Here at mission control, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, this drop-off was timed at 05:55 PDT (11:55 GMT). The loss of signal indicated that the probe was tumbling wildly in the planet's gases. It could have survived the violence for no more than about 45 seconds before being torn to pieces.

NASA's Earl Maize addressed fellow controllers: "Congratulations to you all. This has been an incredible mission, an incredible spacecraft and you're all an incredible team. I'm going to call this end of mission. Project manager off the net."

The statement brought restrained applause and some comforting embraces.


Image copyright AFP
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