On September 15, 2017, the Cassini spacecraft will complete its 20-year mission, plunging into the atmosphere of Saturn and burning there like a meteor.
NASA will conduct a series of live webcasts before the final suicidal dive “Cassini”. They can be viewed online on the portal “Space”, the NASA TV page, the NASA channel on YouTube.
Wednesday, September 13th
21:00 Moscow: a news conference at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where the scientific team of the Cassini mission is located. A detailed overview of the final events of the mission.
Thursday, September 14 – Friday, September 15
from 21:00 to 2:00 in Moscow: NASA’s cultural and entertainment program in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Speeches Speeches.
Friday, September 15th
7:00 – the final transfer of information from the “Cassini”.
15:00 – 16:30 – online comments on the completion of the mission. Continuous upload of data from the camera.
16:00 – the last scientific information of “Cassini” and the final signal.
17:30 – news conference on the results of the mission.
Why does NASA kill Cassini?
The mission of Cassini-Huygens with a budget of $ 3.2 billion is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The project was launched in October 1997, and on June 30, 2004, the interplanetary station arrived in the Saturn system.
“Huygens” – a probe that touched the surface of the largest Saturnian moon of Titan in January 2005. This was the first ever soft landing on an object in the outer solar system.
The Cassini orbiter, meanwhile, continued to revolve around Saturn, making a series of important discoveries for more than 13 years near the ringed planet. For example, the probe noticed geysers from water vapor and other materials, which escaped from the southern pole of Enceladus. Scientists have determined that the substance comes out of a huge ocean of liquid water under the surface of the satellite, and that this ocean can support life as we know it. Cassini also discovered lakes and seas from liquid hydrocarbons on Titan – the first stable fluid bodies ever discovered outside the Earth. Scientists think that Titan can maintain a microbial life.
But nothing lasts forever. Cassini almost ran out of fuel; if it does not become completely, the mission of the probe will not be able to control it. Therefore, “Cassini” will make a deadly dive into the atmosphere of Saturn on September 15. The main goal of the final maneuver is to protect Titan and Enceladus from contamination by terrestrial microbes.