NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has delivered quite good views of Saturn and its moons for several years and now it may meet its ultimate fate, that is, destruction in Saturn’s atmosphere. The satellite recently completed its last flyby of moon Titan.
Cassini has a new mission to perform and it is the most daring task to date: diving between Saturn’s rings for 22 times between April 26 and September 15.
The craft will be there at Saturn’s upper atmosphere for many times during the passes, and will have a speed of over 76,800 miles per hour in relation to the planet.
Well it’s a tough competition for NASA as Cassini is performing its never-before-attempted ring dives.
The craft is designed to lose radio contact with its handlers for many hours at a time, as it has to do various readings and captures difficult, dangerous pictures close to Saturn, and for the time scientists on Earth will have to wait till the time it regains a signal and can finally have communication again.
Cassini’s life ends on September 15 on the day when its final dive ends and the next destination for the satellite will be Saturn’s atmosphere. The expedition is dangerous and involves risks as the friction can tear the craft to pieces, destroying it even as it sends its final messages to Earth.