Cassini: The Grand Finale – LIVE OVER – Sept 15 at 12:00 BST – watch animated goodbye to Cassini

Cassini: The Grand Finale

Cassini: The Grand Finale – LIVE  OVER – September 15 at 12:00 BST – journey is over WATCH animated video of its final sages

After two decades in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft comes to an end of its remarkable journey of exploration.  Operators are deliberately plunging Cassini into the planet to ensure Saturn’s moons will remain pristine for future exploration.

On Sept. 15, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will complete its exploration with an intentional plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere.

Launched in 1997, Cassini arrived in orbit around Saturn in 2004. It was on a mission to study the giant planet, its rings, moons and magnetosphere. In April of this year, Cassini began the final phase of its mission, called its Grand Finale. A daring series of 22 weekly dives between the planet and its rings.

The space craft will plunge into Saturn, sending new and unique science about the planet’s upper atmosphere to the very end. After losing contact with Earth, the spacecraft will burn up like a meteor. This is the first time a spacecraft has explored this unique region of Saturn. A dramatic conclusion to a mission that has revealed so much about the ringed planet.

Cassini flight controllers will monitor the spacecraft’s final transmissions from JPL Mission Control. Interviews with mission engineers and scientists will be available for media.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.

British scientists contribute to the European Space Agency

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