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Cassini - the End #919903
04/27/17 12:02 AM
04/27/17 12:02 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Mona - Astronomy  Online Content OP
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Chimpanzee
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
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




Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 09/15/17 12:42 PM.

Mona Evans
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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #919904
04/27/17 01:33 AM
04/27/17 01:33 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #919914
04/27/17 05:35 AM
04/27/17 05:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 15,978
Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
N
Nancy Roussy Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity
Nancy Roussy  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 15,978
Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
This is so amazing that we have that technology!

Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #919939
04/28/17 09:19 AM
04/28/17 09:19 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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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

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 04/28/17 09:22 PM.

Mona Evans
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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #919945
04/28/17 10:10 AM
04/28/17 10:10 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 15,978
Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
N
Nancy Roussy Offline
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity
Nancy Roussy  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 15,978
Grand-Métis, Quebec, Canada
Mona,

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

Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Nancy Roussy] #919956
04/28/17 09:23 PM
04/28/17 09:23 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Chimpanzee
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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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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923059
09/11/17 03:17 AM
09/11/17 03:17 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Chimpanzee
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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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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923067
09/11/17 08:59 AM
09/11/17 08:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 4,954
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Angie Offline
Elephant
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Posts: 4,954
I hope it is completely destroyed. Us earthlings are polluters that is for sure.

Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923076
09/11/17 06:21 PM
09/11/17 06:21 PM
Joined: May 2010
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United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Chimpanzee
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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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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923095
09/12/17 12:07 PM
09/12/17 12:07 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Chimpanzee
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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]


Mona Evans
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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923116
09/13/17 04:54 PM
09/13/17 04:54 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
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Chimpanzee
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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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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923128
09/14/17 07:31 PM
09/14/17 07:31 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
United Kingdom
Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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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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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923142
09/15/17 12:41 PM
09/15/17 12:41 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
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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


Mona Evans
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Re: Cassini - the End [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923415
09/30/17 03:48 AM
09/30/17 03:48 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7,167
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Mona - Astronomy Online content OP
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Cassini's amazing mission has now ended. But three days before plunging into the planet, it took lots of pictures of Saturn and its rings. Here is Cassini's Last Ring Portrait. A clever citizen scientist used 36 of the images Cassini took to form this superb farewell portrait.
Quote:
The Sun is just above the frame, causing Saturn to cast a dark shadow onto its enormous rings. This shadow position cannot be imaged from Earth and will not be visible again until another Earth-launched spaceship visits the ringed giant.

Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute, Mindaugas Macijauskas


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