Video shows NASA's Cassini team reacting to the spacecraft's death at Saturn

The Latest NASA's Cassini spacecraft burns up over Saturn

In a JPL auditorium minutes after the end, science planner Jo Pitesky gazed up at the video from mission control with a slightly stricken look on her face. After 13 years of exploring Saturn and its moons, the spacecraft will deliberately plunge at over 75,000 miles per hour into the planet and ultimately be destroyed by the weight and temperature of the atmosphere. (NASA / JPL / ASI / University of Arizona / University of Leicester) One of the last pictures sent back by NASA's Cassini orbiter shows Titan, a smog-covered moon of Saturn, with its hydrocarbon lakes visible toward the top of the image. It still had enough left to power its boosters for another few years but NASA mission engineers didn't want to take the risk of an uncontrolled landing on Titan or Enceladus.

"This has been an incredible mission, an incredible spacecraft and you're all an incredible team", Maize said. Dutiful to the end, the spacecraft then sampled Saturn's atmosphere on Friday morning as it made its final plunge.

The density of the atmosphere caused the spacecraft to tumble and sever its radio link. It's spent the past 13 years studying the planet, its rings, and moons in unprecedented detail. Leaving it to drift around Saturn, like two old friends chilling together unto eternity, was no longer an option because Cassini could contaminate the life on Enceladus if it accidentally crashed there. The spacecraft sent back remarkable images and copious data from each object, finally reaching the Saturn system in 2004.

First, Cassini had to get to Saturn. Within about 30 seconds following loss of signal, the spacecraft will begin to come apart; within a couple of minutes, all remnants of the spacecraft are expected to be completely consumed in the atmosphere of Saturn. On the evening of 14 September, the Cassini spacecraft sent back its final images of the Saturn system. Scientists still need to decode the last bits of data the vehicle gathered during its plunge, as well as all of the information the probe has received during its journey at Saturn.

After a last flyby of the Saturn's moon Titan, the spacecraft dived between Saturn's uppermost atmosphere and its innermost ring 22 times. "Who knows how many PhD theses are in that data?"

Just minutes after entering the atmosphere, Cassini vaporized. The spacecraft was built and finally launched on October 15, 1997. While its radioisotope thermoelectric generator is still going strong, generating 633 watts, plenty for Cassini's science and communications equipment, like the propellant tank, which fuels maneuvering engines, is down to less than 1 percent of its life.

Jennifer Lawrence is the ultimate femme fatale in first Red Sparrow trailer
After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most risky Sparrow the program has ever produced. In the film, Egorova suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future.

The room burst into applause.

"We just heard the signal from the spacecraft is gone, and within the next 45 seconds so will be the spacecraft", announced Earl Maize, Cassini's project manager. The Washington Post reports her voice cracked with emotion while saying Cassini was a "perfect spacecraft", which did exactly what it was supposed to do.

NASA said earlier this year that Enceladus, has "all the ingredients needed to support life".

"It has been a tremendous mission to be a part of", he said. They're not so much about science as exploration.

Here are some of the other incredible shots Cassini has taken over the years, with colors enhanced courtesy NASA.

Related News:



Most liked

Suu Kyi tells United States lawmaker she seeks aid for Rohingya
Tillerson stated that Suu Kyi has found herself in a hard and complex situation and that Myanmar's democracy is facing a defining moment.

Trump injects Florida tour with dose of politics
Trump reiterated his hope that Scott runs for the Senate in 2018. "This is a state that I know very well, as you understand". Widespread outages led to long lines outside of the relatively few stores, gas stations and restaurants that had reopened.

Pep: De Bruyne among the best I've seen
The young Brazilian has settled in well thus far until City's 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool . The game marked Jesus' debut in the Champions league for Manchester City .

BSF jawan killed in Pak firing along Jammu border
Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked firing and shelling on Indian positions and civilian areas in Arnia sector around 1 am today. They said that a bullet hit Bahadur on the left side of his abdomen and succumbed to injuries on the way to hospital.

Mahesh Babu's Spyder trailer is out
The leading man Mahesh Babu's fans are having huge goose bumps for the Spyder trailer and fans are also awaited to see the same. The Tamil version has received 2.5 lakh views on YouTube where the Telugu version has already received close to 6.5 lakh hits.

HC stays TN floor test till Wednesday on rebels' disqualification fear
Dhinakaran also slammed Palanisamy for "aligning" with former rebel leader O Panneerselvam, now Deputy Chief Minister. The Madras High Court today ordered that no floor test will be conducted in Tamil Nadu Assembly till September 20.

Israel Folau cops backlash for gay marriage tweet
Since then Turnbull has explained his support for marriage equality in multiple forums, including in several FM radio appearances. The 28-year-old fullback is a devout Christian, who grew up as a Mormon before leaving to join a smaller church in 2011.

Netflix's 'Last Chance U' Football Player Brothers Charged With Murder
A former college football player featured on the Netflix series "Last Chance U" was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder. A running back, Wright clashed with head coach Buddy Stephens and dealt with his fiancee's pregnancy and miscarriage.

How to Watch Saints vs. Vikings
Riley Reiff and Nick Easton shined in particular, making up for a few mistakes in the run game by pitching shutouts in the pass. The chants of "USA! USA!" This caused Adrian Peterson to openly pout and show his displeasure over not being in the game.

Greencore Group PLC (GNC.L) Trending Upward Near-term
The Williams %R indicator helps show the relative situation of the current price close to the period being observed. Pearson plc has a 50 day moving average of 636.33 GBX and the 200 Day Moving Average price is recorded at 685.07.

'Racism is as American as baseball' banner hung at A's game
According to Evan Drellich of CSNNE, the banner was quickly confiscated and the fans using it were removed. The protesters later revealed to CSN New England that the banner was meant to be an anti-racist statement.

10 things Saints fans need to know about the New England Patriots
No one knows better than him that a similar effort to the one put forth vs. the Chiefs won't get it done on Sunday. The defense gave up big plays for touchdowns and the offense, despite scoring 27 points never got untracked.

Google will unveil the Pixel 2 on October 4
The video suggests that the Pixel 2 will have all the answers to these questions, and that definitely piques our interest. Some questions, like the battery, temperature and camera, could be referring to improvements the Pixel 2 will offer.

Why Ryan, undercut by Trump, may actually emerge stronger
The "Better Way" campaign manifesto Ryan released a year ago stated that the GOP "envisions tax reform that is revenue neutral". By week's end, the men feeling the lash were Mr.

Horse race bet with William Hill
How to place a bet To place your wager/bet, all you need is to provide the appropriate information to the ticket writer. Simply you just have to pay £1horse bet and you can easily watch the live horse racing broadcast on your device.