Going down in flames: the Grand Finale approaches for NASA’s Cassini Probe

In 2010, NASA launched its Cassini spaceprobe. Mission? To explore Saturn and its moons, especially Titan, the largest.

Now, seven years later, Cassini’s run out of fuel. Over this period, it’s delivered countless breathtaking images of the gas giant and its many rings, and helped develop our understanding of this not-so-distant giant.

But Cassini isn’t going to just fade away and become anonymous space junk rotating uselessly. The scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are determined to give it a Grand Finale to remember. On September 15, in just two weeks, Cassini will take its final action: a daring and suicidal dive into Saturn’s atmosphere, where it will burn up leaving only vapour trails behind.

AFTRS FM’s Ellie Parnell found out more about Cassini’s wondrous journey so far and the details of its grand upcoming self-immolation. You can see the countdown timer and all the videos and images from Cassini’s seven-year journey at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s website, https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/grand-finale/overview/.