Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Cassini spacecraft's amazing photos of Saturn, rings & moons

Cassini July 2013 Cassini July 2013
Velma Reese | 13 September, 2017, 01:19

Not just Saturn and its rings, NASA's Cassini spacecraft also made in-depth plunges and manoeuvres to provide insights into the planet's moons - Titan and Enceladus - too.

Cassini zoomed within 73,974 miles (119,049 kilometers) of Titan Monday (Sept. 11) in a flyby created to lower the probe's orbit enough to ensure that it will crash into Saturn's thick atmosphere as planned on Friday, NASA officials said.

On Friday, Cassini will careen through the atmosphere and burn up like a meteor in the sky over Saturn. This will ensure they remain pristine for future exploration.

In the 13 years that Cassini's been studying Saturn and its moons, it's flown by Titan pretty much every month for over a decade.

Cassini project Manager Earl maize at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California says that "Cassini has been in a long term relationship with Titan, with a new rendezvous almost every month for more than a decade".

$58K Donated to Hot Dog Vendor After Police Seize His Money
A college official said the officer was following instructions to crack down on illegal vendors outside the campus event venues. Flores later met with the vendor , Juan , and conducted a number of media interviews to highlight the fundraising effort.

The phrase relates to Titan's gravity pushing the craft toward its final mission - a dive straight into Saturn's atmosphere. The spacecraft has completed many moon flybys while observing seasonal changes on Saturn and Titan. The moon is the only body to undergo a cycle similar to the water cycle on Earth, except on the extremely cold Titan it rains methane from hydrocarbon clouds.

The giant planet's north pole hosts unusual, hexagon-shaped jet streams found nowhere else in the solar system.

Cassini made its final, distant flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on September 11, which set the spacecraft on its final dive toward the planet.

Even though Cassini was sterilized before launching from Earth in 1997, it is possible some microbes survived on the spacecraft. As done with the Galileo Jupiter probe, NASA made a decision to destroy the spacecraft by crashing it into Saturn's atmosphere, where it will be torn apart.

Cassini will have been destroyed for about 83 minutes before its final signal reaches NASA's Deep Space Network's Canberra station in Australia.

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