Saturn with its rings has always been the prime focus of interest for scientist and after Cassini came into existence in 2004, this spacecraft has been dedicated to the study of this gaseous planet. With countless pictures of Saturn’s components and of course its rings and moons, Cassini has provided an insight into what hides behind this big ball of rocks and gases.
Cassini was sent to orbit Saturn with a mission to spend all its fuel on researching about Saturn and instead of coming back to Earth, its mission was to dive into Saturn’s atmosphere once the fuel reaches its end. April 2017 marked the Grand Finale of Cassini’s journey where it was placed on an impact course which took place over a time of five months of daring dives between the planet’s rings. A total of 22 orbits were done by Cassini whose pathway was between the planet and the rings. This final task filled in the scientists with detailed observations of the planet and its rings.
September 15, 2017, marks the day when the spacecraft is set to make its final dive into the depths of the planet’s atmosphere. This dive will provide further insights from the planet for as long as the thrusters on this spacecraft can keep the antenna pointed towards Earth until it burns up like a meteor due to friction.
Cassini has discovered many possible potentials in the moons of this planet. Enceladus has been observed having huge craters with the possibility of global ocean and indications of hydrothermal activities. Liquid methane seas have also been observed on Titan. Although the space craft is about to enter its final journey, the giant collection of data sent by it regarding the planet, its magnetosphere, rings, and moons will help scientists produce new and amazing insights into this planet.
The 22 dives through each ring of the planet is bringing Cassini one step closer to its final leap. During the last five orbits, Cassini shall be the closest to Saturn’s atmosphere and that’s when it will take the final leap leaving behind huge chunks of data to be studied for a better understanding of the planet.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here