In an endeavour to unfold the mysteries of Saturn NASA launched “Cassini” orbiter on Oct. 15, 1997. It is a joint project of NASA, the European and the Italian space agency. In 2008, Cassini successfully completed its four years of initial mission and continued its journey until now.
It observed the various seasonal changes on Saturn and Titan and a seven years extension was given to the project in 2010. During this phase of mission it was to study the spacecrafts who got destroyed while entering into the atmosphere of Saturn. Cassini has been exploring almost 1,200-mile-wide range between Saturn and its rings that have never been possible for any other spacecraft before. But the countdown has begun to witness the end of the remarkable 20 years’ journey of Cassini.
While completing its last five orbits its will pass through Saturn’s uppermost orbit and finally will dive into the planet directly. Cassini has spent 20 years during its historic journey, but now the spacecraft is running out-of rocket fuel. It has revealed the potential to contain habitable environment on two moons of Saturn, Enceladus and Titan. Just to avoid the strong possibilities of its collision with any of these moons and to avoid any kind of confusion in future studies, NASA has decided to safely dispose it off in the atmosphere of Saturn. The journey of Cassini will come to an end on September 15, 2017.
By: Anita Aishvarya