The time to end the most ambitious mission, the Cassini mission that was launched by NASA has come. As per a statement, NASA is planning to give an end to its Cassini mission. This important step will be taken by NASA in this week. NASA is planning to stop the mission by letting space craft down to the Saturn’s surface.
It may be noted that the Cassini mission was started by NASA in 1997 from Cape Canaveral. The grand finale of this mission will happen on September 15. As per NASA’s report, the spacecraft is now diving towards Saturn ring which is full of hydrogen and icy atmosphere. Since last few months, the space craft is being directed towards Saturn’s rings, and till now it has gone down to 600km from Saturn’s atmosphere.
The space craft Cassini has helped NASA to gather important information about Saturn and its moons named Titan and Enceladus. As per the data collected, it is expected that Saturn has vast elements and surface of oceans that can give support alien life. The upper atmosphere of Saturn has 75% hydrogen, and rest comprises of helium and other gases, experts say.
Starting its journey in 1997, the space craft took seven years to reach Saturn. During its journey through the solar system, it also conducted two flybys of the earth, i.e., Venus and Jupiter. Cassini is named after an Italian mathematician and astronomer named Giovanni Domenico Cassini. He was the first person who discovered division of the Saturn’s ring in 1675. Cassini has gathered a lot of valuable data and has sent various photos of Saturn. Cassini had captured a high-resolution picture of Saturn lit up by the sun in 2013. It is the first image which shows a clear picture of two moons of Saturn, and its rings. In one shot it also captured Earth, Venus, and Mars. It was Cassini who confirmed that Saturn has hydrogen gas present on it.
As the Saturn’s two moons Enceladus and Titan have a geological balanced environment, it shows that life can be supported on it. Hence, NASA will not take any chance to disturb the climates by crashing Cassini into these two. After the end of the Cassini mission, NASA is also planning to start a mission for Titan and Enceladus with a hope of extra life sign. The mission will start in between 2020, as per sources.
NASA’s report also specifies that NASA will take help of the deep space antenna located in Canberra to keep a track until the end of the Cassini mission. The tracking process will be controlled by the CISRO’s team at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.