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27 April 2017, 15:53
Check out the amazing video!
The Cassini spacecraft is going into unchartered territory. It has begun a series of deep dives into Saturn and its rings, before CRASHING into the planet.
As you can see in this video, it's given us a fantastic insight into Saturn's rings...
The unmanned spacecraft left earth way back in 1997 and took a whole seven years to reach Saturn. It’s done a fabulous job of studying Saturn, having taught us a great deal about the mysterious planet.
The Cassini was launched in Florida and has sent some fascinating dispatches from its altogether chillier new home. For example, the spacecraft taught us that Saturn’s surface is actually rather Earth-like.
Interestingly, as Vox explains, the planet has great lakes of liquid natural gas on the moon’s surface that outweigh all the oil and gas reserves on Earth.” In addition, it uncovered the possibility that there’s an underground ocean on the moon Enceladus, as well as taking fantastically detail photographs of Saturn.
Talk about a job well done!
And what’s the reward for the little Spacecraft that could? It’s going to be crashed into the planet that it so lovingly documented. And you thought your job was thankless!
Cassini will be sacrificed to teach us even more about Saturn, as it will adjust its trajectory to bring it inside gap between Saturn and its rings. Astonishingly, that gap is a whole 1500 miles wide.
As a necessity of the plummet, the planet will crash into Saturn’s atmosphere. Before it does so, it will teach us about how much mass Saturn has without its rings. NASA already knows how much mass the planet has without its rings, but this new information will teach scientists how the rings were made in the first place.
If the spacecraft didn’t crash into the atmosphere, though, the spacecraft could contaminate the planet, so it’s actually a good thing. Thanks for the memories, Cassini!