The Cassini spacecraft is about to go where no satellite has gone before! The NASA ship is on the brink of completing its incredible 13-year mission of Saturn and its moons! It will begin its final phased on April 26, and we have everything you should know!
This is a huge step for NASA! Its Cassini spacecraft has been collecting insightful and valuable information about Saturn for the past 13 years, and it’s about to undergo it’s “Grand Finale!” Here’s everything you need to know about Cassini!
1. What is Cassini?
Cassini [full name: Cassini-Huygens] is a spacecraft sent to Saturn to take pictures of and gather measurements and information about the planet and its atmospheric conditions. The spacecraft can also help to to determine whether there is possible life on Saturn. Cassini was originally launched in 1997, and went into orbit in 2004.
— CassiniSaturn (@CassiniSaturn) April 26, 2017
2. What is the “Grand Finale”?
On April 26, Cassini will begin its final phase — 22 dives between Saturn and its rings! This will bring Cassini closer to Saturn than ever before to discover the origin of its rings and moons, and to see if there is life on the planet.
3. When will the mission officially complete?
Cassini’s journey will officially come to a close on September 15, 2017, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. On that day, the spacecraft will actually crash into Saturn.
4. What’s the importance of the mission?
The mission cannot be duplicated and it’s never been done before. Although Cassini is the one of four spacecrafts to enter Saturn, it was the first to enter orbit. After a 7-year journey to Saturn, Cassini entered into orbit in 2004.
5. What else should I know?
One Saturn year is nearly 30 earth years, so Cassini has been putting in quite the work. Cassini’s route is a billion mile journey, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Wow!
HollywoodLifers, did you know about Cassini before it’s “Grand Finale”?