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Cassini...gone

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Sooner Boomer

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By the time you read this, the Saturn probe, Cassini, will have made its final plunge into the ringed planet's atmosphere. Launched in October of '97, Cassini has produced a staggering amount of data, including some magnificent pictures. A hitch-hiker, the Huygens probe landed on the moon Titan. An ebook containing some of the photos, The Saturn System Through the Eyes of Cassini, is available for free download at https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/7777/ . An excellent episode of NOVA recently covered the Cassini program https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/death-dive-to-Saturn.html . Some of the last images are here: https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/galleries/raw-images?order=earth_date+desc&per_page=50&page=0 . The camera will be shut down before the final dive so that the (painfully) small/slow bandwidth can be used for scientific measuring instruments in its final seconds as it enters Saturn's atmosphere.

And what would any post be without a youtube video?

[video=youtube;pPnZQIkSNmU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPnZQIkSNmU[/video]
 

fyrwrxz

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Congrats to the ground team for all the images and data they sorted thru (and still will) for this epic mission. Happy and proud that I had a miniscule part in the Centaur vehicle that got it there. The magnetometer will run right up until the end to help define the length of Saturn's day. It's better this way as a controlled event rather than running out of manoeuvering gases and fading to black.
 

SpaceManMat

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Countdown timer at NASA say 3 hrs. And then the signal will take nearly an hour and half to reach earth.
 

H_Rocket

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I can't imagine the emotions in the control room when they get the final transmission.

"OK now what do we do?"
 

rstaff3

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Hey, at least it went out with a bang. Turning off a satellite is worse emotionally. I don't know and didn't look up any details about the PI and such but by the time you write a proposal to NASA, get approved/funded, do the detailed design, build the thing, launch and then babysit the data, you can spend your whole career on such projects.
 

Nytrunner

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I read about Cassini-Huygens in a book ~early 2000's as a kid. I remember thinking, "Man, its going to take forevor to get there and do its thing!"

Well, now its got there and done its thing, and the Doctor is singing about it
 
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