It seems that this year will be the final one for the Cassini spacecraft. NASA wants to take it to one last mission and go to an unexplored space between Saturn and its rings. Those will be the closest images of Saturn and they would provide more details about that planet.
Curt Niebur, a scientist who worked at this program, said that even if they are counting down the days, Cassini still has a lot of work to do. The last mission could be the most important one for the spacecraft. This is how researchers have thought. The final mission will be called The Grand Finale. It will have two phases and it will begin on November 30, this year.
At first, the spacecraft will pass the Saturn’s main rings and will make 20 orbits. Cassini is supposed to provide images that were never seen before because it will be really close to the center. If there are any moons or objects, NASA will find out about them. In April 2017, Cassini will start its final phase and pass the gap between Saturn and the rings. The spacecraft should give the closest observation of the planet that was ever made.
What are the researchers expecting to see? The best images ever with Saturn, including its atmosphere, dust particles, and more information about the interior of the planet. NASA is also hoping that Cassini will have some surprises for them. It could be possible to discover something they have never imagined.
Cassini began its journey 12 years ago. It helped a lot by taking pictures of Saturn, its moon and rings. On September 15, 2017, its mission will end. The spacecraft is supposed to land on Saturn’s surface and provide more details about the planet, before burning out.
Saturn has always been one of the most interesting planets in our Solar Systems. Researchers have tried to gather more information about it and all we know about this planet is due to Cassini. The spacecraft had a long journey and it seems that its biggest mission is coming soon. While astronauts are finding ways to send the first humans to Mars, Cassini will provide the best images of Saturn.
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