The US space agency NASA has finally announced to kill its Cassini spacecraft, worth $3.26 billion. It was on Saturn mission for 20 years to find life sign on this planet. This spacecraft will take many daring steps before it dies, as it will fly in the middle of Saturn and its rings from April to September. After this final probe, it will fall into the Saturn’s atmosphere and explode.
As per the NASA, in its final voyage, the space vehicle will make the very close flyby of Saturn’ moon ‘Titan’.
The Earl Maze, who was managing this mission said that Cassini’s own probe was its sad demise. He was referring to a hot, saltwater ocean that it had found under the icy crust of Enceladus. These findings had helped NASA to discover the subsurface ocean composition. Moreover, this has given a good sign that this planet may support alien life.
Many of us will be thinking why NASA want to destroy this long lasting mission. Here is the reason:
Reason for destroying the Cassini Spacecraft
The first reason that NASA has given is that it was running on low fuel. This space vehicle was in orbit around the Saturn since 2004.
Secondly, this decision was taken to protect and preserve the Saturn’s moon for future exploration.
Finally, the NASA team wants to get the more insights into the planet. This will capture the closest ever view of the planet’s cloud inner rings. It will help to give the deep understanding of how these big planets and planter system are formed and evolved. This will gather as much new data as possible while flying in the last stage of its life.
On April 22, the spacecraft will be in its final orbit, which they call them ‘Grand Finale’, to take last close flyby of Titan.
On April 26, Cassini will make the 1st in a series of dives through the 1,500-mile-wide (Approx. 2,400 KM) between its rings and Saturn. This will be the last mission of grand finale.
The space agency NASA says, no space vehicle has ever gone through this rare region. But it will boldly attempt to cross it 22 times.
The Cassini will finally move to its fateful plunge into the planet’s atmosphere on September 15th. It will keep sending the data until its last breath. This data will be notably for atmospheric composition.