October 15, 1997 – The Cassini Mission to Saturn is launched. After nearly seven years en-route to Saturn, the area probe entered orbit on July 1, 2004.

Cassini is a joint mission of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. The authentic mission was supposed for simply 4 years. The authentic mission has been prolonged twice to the current day. The pictures and scientific knowledge returned by Cassini have added immensely to our information of the science of gasoline big planets.

Technically, the mission is called Cassini-Huygens. On Christmas Day, 2004, the Huygens probe indifferent from Cassini. Huygens landed on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon on January 14, 2005, the primary touchdown on a moon within the outer Solar System.

The principal probe was named for Giovanni Cassini, an Italian mathematician and astronomer. He found 4 of Saturn’s moons and was the primary director of the Paris Observatory.

The Titan lander was named for Christiaan Huygens, a Dutch mathematician and scientist who studied the rings of Saturn and found Titan.

While the mission life has far exceeded the unique plan, Cassini is coming to an finish. It now not has enough gas to keep up orbital stability.

On April 22, 2017, Cassini started the primary of 22 Grand Finale orbits with one ultimate shut flyby of Titan. These orbits will take Cassini BETWEEN the rings and the planet, a niche of simply 1,500 miles. This will permit evaluation of Saturn’s ambiance in additional element than ever earlier than. The probe’s cameras will seize the closest pictures ever taken of the rings and Saturn’s ambiance.

On September 15, 13 years right into a deliberate four-year mission, Cassini will full  its ultimate orbit. The gravity from distant Titan will shift the orbit sufficiently such that Cassini will enter Saturn’s higher ambiance and disintegrate.

Western Slope Skies is produced by members of the Black Canyon Astronomical Society. This episode was written and recorded by Bryan Cashion.

Western Slope Skies - Cassini Mission's Grand Finale by: Elie Abi Younes published:

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