Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.
It’s been 20 years in space. And the final countdown has begun: 1 month and 3 days left until NASA’s Cassini Probe grand finale.
The probe will plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn; only 4 rings are left, given the fact that the Cassini Probe will make the first pass through the 5th ring on the 13th of August. The most incredible thing is happening right now in front of our eyes. The region in which Cassini will “operate” hasn’t been explored before. We are going to learn about things that were only suppositions before.
The Cassini Probe went through tough times and so will be the last phase of its mission. It encountered the dense atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s moon, and is bound to encounter the same difficulties regarding maintaining its stability on the Grand Finale as well. Of course, everybody hopes that the thrusters will operate at medium capacity and that everything will go smoothly.
Linda Spilker, JPL Cassini project scientist, is very proud of the probe’s success so far. She says that once the Cassini Probe manages to pass the 5 rings and plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere it will be the first atmospheric probe to ever do that.
During the Grand Finale, and the final plunge, Cassini will have 7 science devices turned on in order to gather and send information about some measurements. More specifically, we will probably have knowledge about Saturn’s magnetic fields, the speed of Saturn’s rotation, and many more.
Once Cassini gets near too dense atmosphere the thrusters won’t be able to function anymore, due to Saturn’s atmospheric power and this is why the “transmission” will be often interrupted. After that, the last phase of Cassini Probe’s long journey will be completed and we will hopefully have a better understanding of the things we could only imagine before the Cassini Probe’s success.