Cassini readies final plunge into Saturn

15 September, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Saturn probe heads towards destruction

Although Cassini has been in space for 20 years - seven spent traveling to Saturn, 13 within the Saturn system - microbes from Earth could still viably exist on the spacecraft without air, water or protection from radiation.

The dive that Cassini is now performing is the very last part of its Grand Finale which included 22 spectacular dives through Saturn's iconic rings.

These discoveries helped Cassini's scientists and engineers decide what to do with it once it runs out of fuel.

Inspired to learn more after flybys of Saturn by NASA's Voyager missions, the Cassini mission was created to be an global effort that united NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency. During the spring equinox, Cassini could capture the way the sunlight hit Saturn's rings edge-on, allowing researchers to measure the summits of mountains they saw rising from the rings.

The UVIS has already fostered "scores of dazzling discoveries" - including a salty, subterranean ocean on one of Saturn's moons which scientists think may have conditions favorable for primitive life. When the antenna shifts a fraction of a degree, contact with Earth will be lost and the probe will start to break up about 930 miles (1,500 km) above Saturn's cloud tops. Those cameras, over the years of photographing Saturn, its rings and moons, created some of the most visually attractive images of the solar system.

Launched in 1997 with the European Space Agency's (ESA) Huygens probe, Cassini is the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn.

Its destruction is expected to take only a matter of seconds. Now, the spacecraft is gearing up for a crash landing on the planet that it observed so thoroughly, as it flew past Titan one final time for a gravity assist that NASA called a final kiss goodbye. "It will radiate across the solar system for almost an hour and a half after Cassini itself has gone", Cassini project manager at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Earl Maize said.

No images will be taken during the final plunge into Saturn, as the data transmission rate required to send images is too high and would prevent other high-value science data from being returned.

Her first stop would be Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus, where she would take samples of its ocean, which harbors numerous conditions needed to sustain life.

Even on the way down, the plucky spacecraft will continue to send back data. In all those observations, Cassini's cameras played an important role, said McEwen, who is a team member of the craft's imaging science subsystem.

NASA recreated a Cassini image of a backlit Saturn using a collage of about 1,600 photos of people waving at the ringed planet as part of social media campaign in 2013. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 25 degrees above the ringplane.

"It's truly a first-of-its-kind event at Saturn". Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute. When Cassini arrived, the northern hemisphere of Saturn was emerging from winter.

NASA will be streaming video of Cassini's final moments with live commentary through several outlets, such as NASA TV, online at NASA's website and on the NASA JPL YouTube channel, beginning at 7 a.m. ET.

The whole mission cost £2.9 billion. The Cassini mission could barely compete in dinner time conversation up against missions to mars, especially not when it was only in the planning stage.



Facebook introduces monetization limitations and new advertiser controls
This was revealed by Carolyn Everson, VP global marketing solutions at Facebook , in a blog post . Facebook said it's also releasing new tools so advertisers know what publishers ran their ads.

USA approves $5 billion fighter jet sale to Canada
The International trade commission that is U.S. based is set to make a basic ruling in this case in the ending of this month. It said the principal contractors will be Boeing Co ., Northrop Grumman Corp., Raytheon Co. and General Electric Co.

Iran Signs Deals To Repair Syria's Power Grid, Infrastructure
Mahmoudi, on the Energy Ministry website, said, "We will stand by the Syrian people to rebuild this country". Agreement points to the role Tehran is expected to play in the reconstruction of war-torn Syria.

Syria army tries to encircle Daesh in Deir al-Zor: military source
Russian airstrikes on the western bank of the Euphrates river killed "16 civilians, including five children". Moscow intervened in Syria in September 2015 in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Relative of ex-Seattle mayor is 5th to accuse him of abuse
CNN reports that Murray, 60, stepped down after his cousin accused him of sexual abuse in an interview with a local newspaper. He apologized to his staff and to the city and said it had become clear that his resignation was best for the city .

The New Porsche Cayenne Turbo Accelerates As Quickly As A Manual GT3
Of course, that 0-60 time only happens when the new Cayenne is equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package. The new Cayenne Turbo is the first SUV to feature an adaptive roof spoiler as a component of its aerodynamics.

Hurricane Irma 'to devastate the United States': FEMA chief
With destruction and death-toll tallies on the rise, scientific evidence points to climate change for intensifying these storms. Hurricane Irma first hit the Florida Keys early Sunday morning. "This is a truly, truly poster child for what is to come".

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) - BTIG Research Upgrades Rating Lowers Price Target
Finally, JFS Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited by 139.0% in the third quarter. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.07.

Mourinho plays down Champions League hopes
The Premier League , meanwhile, has not provided a victor since Chelsea in 2012. It raises the question about whether Champions League experience matters.

Disney World, Universal to reopen Tuesday after Irma sweeps through Florida
Hurricane Irma shut down Disney World Sunday and Monday, but the resort is on track to reopen its gates Tuesday. A county-wide curfew kept Disney and Universal guests restricted to their hotels on Sunday and Monday evenings.