Cassini's final moments will be livestreamed tomorrow around 8am EST. I'll be at work when it goes down unfortunately, but I'll definitely give it a look when I get home.Nasa's Cassini probe is carrying out its final task of its 13 year mission before it will deliberately crash into Saturn's atmosphere on Friday.
The craft will fly close to the giant moon Titan to bend its path and send it diving into Saturn's atmosphere, where it will break up.
Cassini began its mission to Saturn back in 1997, reaching the ringed planet in 2004.
The craft's aim was to take pictures, giving the closest, most detailed look at Saturn's rings and its moons.
Amongst its many discoveries Cassini has found new moons orbiting the planet, signs of possible life on existing moons and huge underground oceans spewing fountains of water into space.
In April, scientists announced the final plan for Cassini as the craft started to run out of fuel.
As its journey came to an end, scientists didn't want to risk the craft crashing into Saturn's moons, which could damage the environment where there could be conditions for alien life.
Instead, they will direct the spacecraft into Titan's orbit one last time, using it as a catapult to drive Cassini into a 12-mile gap in the rings, whilst travelling 70,000 mph.
All the while Cassini will still be recording huge amounts of information.
Nasa hopes to use it to learn more about the age of the rings and take a closer look at giant hurricanes at the north and south poles of the planet.
Earl Maize, the mission's project manager, said: "It will break apart, it will melt, it will vaporize, and it will become part of the very planet it left Earth to explore."
Scientists will watch the incredible craft disappear in minutes.
If you previously registered on VGF XenForo boards, you will need to use the forgot password feature in order to be able to post here. If you do not receive a password reset by e-mail, use the contact page or post in registration/login help.
Moderator: Deku Tree
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
- Posts: 48517
- Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:22 pm
- Location: World -1
Nasa's Cassini spacecraft prepares for final death dive on Saturn