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What’s Ahead for Cassini?


If you’ve been a faithful reader of Lights in the Dark over the past five years you know that I just love Cassini (and you probably do too!) In orbit around Saturn since 2004, Cassini has taken us on an intimate tour of the Saturnian system for a decade now, revealing the incredible beauty of the ringed planet and its family of moons like no spacecraft ever has before. Thanks to Cassini and the Huygens probe, we have seen the surface of Titan for the first time, witnessed the jets of Enceladus, discovered many previously-unknown moons (and moonlets) and basically learned more about Saturn over the past ten years than since Galileo first pointed his telescope at it.

Cassini's final maneuver will be to dive through a gap in Saturn's rings in 2017 (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Cassini’s will dive through a gap in Saturn’s rings in 2017 and sample the planet’s upper atmosphere (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Although nearing the end of its life span, Cassini still has a few good years left and scientists are taking full advantage of its remaining time around Saturn to learn as much as they can before the spacecraft makes its final dive into the planet’s atmosphere in 2017.* The video above shows what awaits Cassini in the years ahead — some of its best discoveries may be yet to come. Check it out!

Learn more about the Cassini mission and read about its latest discoveries here and here.

*The exact plan for the end of Cassini’s mission has not yet been finalized.

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About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on June 6, 2014, in Saturn, Saturn's Moons and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thus there is strong risks which Lights in the Dark continues until 2017 and I hope beyond !!
    For news of Cassini, let us keep open eyes…
    Jeff Barani from Vence (French Riviera)

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  2. Reblogged this on Saturn's Moon and commented:
    I hope to see something amazing in our near future concerning Cassini. It has yet reach its strenuous journey, exploring Saturn and just recently started looking further than Saturn and even towards Neptune.

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