NASA to End Cassini's Run With Plunge Into Saturn

NASA to End Cassini's Run With Plunge Into Saturn

Cassini will continue to send data as it plunges to Saturn before burning up and crashing into the planet's surface.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which was launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004, is about to begin the final chapter of its remarkable story this month. But in some ways, the mission's final phase that kicks off later this month could prove even more fruitful, with the deep-space probe making a series of daring passes through the gap between Saturn and its rings, where scientists expect it to make some of its most extraordinary discoveries before burning up in the atmosphere.

Cassini also focused on a giant hexagonal polar vortex on Saturn, which spins around the north pole at speeds of 320 kilometres per hour, and has become known as the hexagon.

"This planned conclusion for Cassini's journey was far and away the preferred choice for the mission's scientists", Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, said. If the rings are more massive than expected, she said, they could be ancient, possibly as old as the planet itself.

"We don't know exactly where that D-ring ends ... so, to be on the safe side, we want to protect the spacecraft's instrumentation from these particles", Spilker said. There's also a chance that Cassini could grab the first ever photograph of one of the individual rocks that make up the rings. Now Cassini will finally take a leap into some of the only territory it has yet to explore: the gap between Saturn and its rings. But the mission could meet a premature end if a ring particle hits Cassini. NASA plans to use the last of Cassini's fuel to keep the antenna pointed toward Earth so it can transmit data for as long as possible.

Читайте также: YouTube's live TV service is now available in select markets

NASA says it hopes to gain new insights about Saturn's interior and about the rings' origins.

Cassini's Grand Finale is occurring this year because the spacecraft has been so active and so prolific, Maize added. "Ultimately, Cassini's discoveries (caused) its demise".

An artist's impression of Cassini breaking up in Saturn's atmosphere. Microorganisms still alive on Cassini could contaminate the potential life forms on Titan or Enceladus.

Cassini also discovered Enceladus' fantastic water plumes, which in turn helped reveal that the satellite hosts an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell. "Flying this close to the rings of a planet, that's a once in a lifetime experience for a scientist". In its final research campaign, the spacecraft will gather information that should reveal Saturn's inner structure. "Hugs, tears - the Kleenex box will be passed around - but we will rejoice at being part of such a wonderful mission".

При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
«» 2007 - 2017 Copyright.
Автоматизированное извлечение информации сайта запрещено.

Код для вставки в блог

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Patrick Ewing Hugs It Out With John Thompson
Апр 06, 2017 - 02:40
On Wednesday afternoon, Ewing stood composed and assertive during his introduction as the new Georgetown men's basketball coach. ARKANSAS HIRES WOMEN'S COACH: Washington's Mike Neighbors has been hired as the new women's basketball coach at Arkansas.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Lloyds to downsize branches to only two employees
Апр 06, 2017 - 02:40
Last month, RBS and NatWest announced that 158 further branches would close, while HSBC is planning to shut 62 branches this year. Another key indicator that can help investors determine if a stock might be a quality investment is the Return on Equity or ROE.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top IS fighters in Mosul provoking coalition strikes on civilians: US military
Апр 06, 2017 - 02:39
A series of large-scale bombings claimed by IS have struck Baghdad since the operation to retake Mosul began. Wednesday night, a suicide truck bomb targeted a police checkpoint on Baghdad's main southern entrance.

Norwich police to launch distracted driving campaign
Апр 06, 2017 - 02:39
Through the end of the month, police will be on patrol looking for distracted drivers as part of the U Drive. Any and all distractions endanger the life of you, your passengers and those who share the roads with you.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Georgetown hires Patrick Ewing as men's basketball coach
Апр 06, 2017 - 02:39
He played for the team in the early 1980s, winning two Big East Player of the Year awards and a national championship in 1984. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until a formal announcement is made.

Fed Minutes: Members Split Over Need For Faster Rate Hikes
Апр 06, 2017 - 02:31
The minutes showed that several Fed officials believed that Trump's stimulus plans would likely not begin until next year. Investors generally see the reduction in the Fed's balance sheet leading to higher rates.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Obama aide denies using intel to spy on Trump advisers
Апр 05, 2017 - 02:09
White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice , shakes hands with incoming White House National Security Advisor Gen.

Trump takes up health care with Rand Paul, on golf course
Апр 05, 2017 - 02:01
Gosar said the Trump-Ryan plan still had too many "mandates and regulations" that have increased the cost of insurance. Moderates expressed a reluctance to vote quickly on a new bill. "I think it would be a mistake to rush it", said Rep.

Susan Rice Allegations Are 'Fake Scandal' Peddled by 'Right-Wing Media — CNN's Cuomo
Апр 05, 2017 - 02:01
The new news reports come barely two weeks after Rice denied knowing anything about the intelligence reports. So not only did it not occur, it didn't occur, and it could not have occurred, directed by the White House.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Chelsea Clinton is in no hurry to get into politics
Апр 05, 2017 - 01:52
Looks like Chelsea Clinton doesn't think she's the person to rescue the United States from Republican rule. Kristin Gillbrand's seat, if she vacates it to run against Trump in 2020.

Environmental groups vowing to fight Trump climate actions
Апр 04, 2017 - 04:45
" We're going to go in a different direction ", a senior White House official told reporters ahead of Tuesday's order. But coal is dying as a major energy source in the United States for reasons far beyond the reach of executive orders.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Xbox One March Update rolling out; brings Beam streaming, updated guide, more
Апр 04, 2017 - 04:40
It can be accessed by single-tapping the Xbox button on the controller or clicking over to the left when on the Home screen. Please bookmark 1redDrop.comto keep tabs on the hottest, most happening tech and business news from around the world.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The Hardy Boyz make stunning comeback at WrestleMania 33, win tag titles
Апр 04, 2017 - 04:38
Matt and Jeff Hardy made a shock appearance at Wrestlemania 33 as they entered a ladder match for the WWE tag-team championships. The Hardys and Impact Wrestling are locked in a legal dispute over who owns the creative rights to the gimmick.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Japanese envoys to return to S. Korea
Апр 04, 2017 - 04:37
With the recall of the envoy, Japan also postponed bilateral economic dialogue and talks on a new currency swap with South Korea. Japanese officials said sending the envoys back did not mean Japan is caving in to South Korea's refusal to remove the statue.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Escape of cattle from St. Louis slaughterhouse spurs roundup
Апр 04, 2017 - 04:37
Gentle Barn co-founder Jay Weiner says his animal sanctuary intends to keep the steers either at its Tennessee farm or a new one. The cows got away from the Star Packing Company on the 3800 block of Cote Brilliante after someone left the gate open.