Skip to content

Cassini's reward for 13 years of service is a fiery death. Here's why

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
9/14/2017 (11 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Goodbye Cassini, thanks for all the data.

Goodbye to Cassini, the space probe that was launched in 1997 and spent six years travelling, and over thirteen years exploring Saturn and its moons. The probe will die a quick, fiery death tomorrow morning around 7:55 AM EDT.

A NASA rendition of Cassini's final dive in Saturn.

A NASA rendition of Cassini's final dive in Saturn.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
9/14/2017 (11 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Saturn, Cassini, mission, plunge


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- The Cassini probe has looped around Saturn and its many moons hundreds of times. It dropped a probe in Titan to study the moon's surface, passed through Saturn's rings, and has sent us the most breathtaking, high resolution photos we have of the ringed planet.

The final, fatal command to Cassini has already been given, and the spacecraft is already on its final trajectory to its demise, making about five looping orbits into the planet. The probe was nudged towards Saturn by a final close approach with its moon Titan on September 11.


Cassini must be destroyed because it carries a plutonium core for a power source. Scientists do not want to risk the satellite landing on a sensitive environment, such as on Enceladus, where an ocean of liquid water, and possibly life, may exist.

The death plunge will happen at 7:55 AM EDT, and the end will be very quick.

Cassini has spent 13 years circling Saturn and gathering data. Now its mission has come to an end.

Cassini has spent 13 years circling Saturn and gathering data. Now its mission has come to an end.


Cassini will take images and transmit them until the last few minutes of its life. Once the final images are transmitted, and the satellite approaches the upper atmosphere of Saturn, it will begin transmitting data on the atmosphere it encounters. Within minutes, the atmosphere will become dense forcing Cassini to fire its thrusters to keep its antenna pointed at Earth for as long as possible. Within about one minute, the thrusters will ramp up from zero to 100 percent power.

After a brief moment at 100 percent, the friction with the atmosphere will overwhelm the power of the thrusters and Cassini will begin to tumble. Communication with Earth will be instantly lost. Second later, the satellite will start to burn and break apart, and its pieces will fall towards Saturn's center. Nothing of the satellite will remain.

Cassini has made several low passes, skimming Saturn

Cassini has made several low passes, skimming Saturn's atmosphere. Tomorrow, it will take its final dip.


Saturn is a gas planet, and does not have a solid surface as Earth does. There is speculation that it has a solid core of some kind, possibly liquid metal, but we have not been able to peer under the atmosphere to confirm or deny the hypothesis.

The final trip of Cassini from Titan to Saturn is taking four days to complete.

The final trip of Cassini from Titan to Saturn is taking four days to complete.


Although Cassini will perish at 7:55 AM, the final signals from the craft will take 86 minutes to reach Earth. That means scientists will be hearing the last transmission of Cassini almost an hour and a half after the probe is gone.

NASA will publish Cassini's last images on its website as soon as they are processed.

Why is YouTube censoring the BIBLE?

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry.
That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.


Comments


More Technology

Will Facebook finally charge users? Company value plunges on weak results, poor outlook Watch

Image of Zuckerberg lost $18 billion in just five minutes of trading.

Facebook stock plunged yesterday on a poor report to Wall Street. The company's stock fell almost 20 percent, wiping out almost $150 ... continue reading


Someone in China just used blockchain to evade censorship and the implications are staggering Watch

Image of The Great Firewall of China has been breached.

Someone in China has just used blockchain technology to evade censorship, and the implications are staggering. Just as the printing press ... continue reading


Longest Blood Moon eclipse of 21st century looms, along with bad news -- is it an omen? Watch

Image of During a lunar eclipse, the moon can turn orange to blood red or black.

The longest eclipse of the 21st century will occur on the night of July 28, 2018. The eclipse will last for a minute shy of 4 hours, and ... continue reading


What do they know that we don't? Why billionaires are planning for the end of the world Watch

Image of The most famous blast door in the world on Cheyenne mountain. While this is a military installation, billionaires around the world are building their own versions of doomsday bunkers.

Rich people stay rich by figuring out before the rest of us what will happen next. This is why futurists often look at what rich people are ... continue reading


What does the discovery of complex organics on Enceladus mean for Catholics? Watch

Image of Could Enceladus host life? The discovery of complex organic molecules hints at the possibility.

Scientists are excited over the discovery of complex organic molecules on Enceladus. Here is what the discovery is and what it means for ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.