The final full view of Saturn from Cassini, on September 13, 2017. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI.
September 15, 2017. On this date, the Cassini spacecraft plunged into the planet Saturn, becoming part of the planet it had been orbiting since 2004.
The discoveries and new insights provided by the 13-year Cassini-Huygens mission at Saturn are far too numerous to recount here. But we can say that Cassini – fourth earthly space probe ever to visit Saturn and first to enter its orbit – revolutionized the way we on Earth think about Saturn and its moons and rings. It also dramatically altered the way we perceive nature generally in the great outer neighborhood of our solar system, as spectacular image after image just kept coming, all the way to the mission’s final days.
In its 13 years at Saturn, Cassini acquired one of the most beautiful collections of spacecraft images that has ever been assembled. Visit a Cassini image gallery.
Movie sequence of images from the last dedicated observation of Saturn’s moon Enceladus – and its water plume, which rains onto Saturn itself – by Cassini on August 28, 2017. Read more about this image via ESA.
Cassini’s last look ...