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Cassini set for total destruction on Friday

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Live long and prosper Cassini.

Well, actually I guess not...

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It's like having to put a faithful pet to sleep.

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Goodbye my dear sweet probe. . .

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Sad and exciting all at the same time.

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Great success story. I guess that this is its 'happily ever after'

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Nothing will go wrong.....:ph34r:

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One of the greatest success stories of the modern era. I'm still in awe of all the things this team has accomplished in the last 15 years or so. I remember seeing those first images come back from the surface of Titan in 2005 and just sitting there speechless, trying to wrap my head around the enormity of that feat. For many on this team this is/was the highlight of their career and I understand several team members are retiring after this. I wish everyone future success and happiness. On to the next!

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Great job Cassini, and farewell. 

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Watch the countdown here

:cry:

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Posted (edited)

Incredible mission that was hugely successful  and Grand Finale was the perfect title for the the 22 dives between Saturn and its rings.

Edited by Merc14
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Did anyone catch the live feed on the NASA website? Was it any good or just commentary whilst the signal stopped? I can imagine it would have been pretty tense. Must be heart rendering for some of these folks spending years keeping the probe going for it to be finally all over. Either that or a huge relief!

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30 minutes ago, Chortle said:

Did anyone catch the live feed on the NASA website? Was it any good or just commentary whilst the signal stopped? I can imagine it would have been pretty tense. Must be heart rendering for some of these folks spending years keeping the probe going for it to be finally all over. Either that or a huge relief!

It was more morose than tense as the maneuver was relatively simple.  I am sure it was hard after running teh program for 20 years to say goodbye.

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Perhaps many don't know each reasons why the probe was destroyed on Saturn rather than being left out to become a dead object orbiting saturn:

From business insigthter 

 

NASA killed its only Saturn probe because it discovered oceans that may harbor alien life below the surfaces of Enceladus and Titan, two of Saturn's largest moons. Cassini has nearly run out of propellant, and the space agency wanted to avoid crashing into and contaminating the moons - thus, the nuclear-powered probe was put down.

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3 hours ago, qxcontinuum said:

Perhaps many don't know each reasons why the probe was destroyed on Saturn rather than being left out to become a dead object orbiting saturn:

From business insigthter 

NASA killed its only Saturn probe because it discovered oceans that may harbor alien life below the surfaces of Enceladus and Titan, two of Saturn's largest moons. Cassini has nearly run out of propellant, and the space agency wanted to avoid crashing into and contaminating the moons - thus, the nuclear-powered probe was put down.

Just to avoid any kind of an upcoming CT: Cassini to be destroyed in/by Saturn`s atmosphere was a scheduled mission step from the beginning on of the Cassini-Huygens mission, so Business Insigthter is wrong by giving the impression that the destruction of the probe was a decision taken because of the Cassini-Huygens mission findings. Furthermore, it would not make sense to leave a deaktivated 2.2ton probe in the orbit of Saturn as it would endanger/influence future missions to it.

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5 hours ago, qxcontinuum said:

Perhaps many don't know each reasons why the probe was destroyed on Saturn rather than being left out to become a dead object orbiting saturn:

From business insigthter 

 

NASA killed its only Saturn probe because it discovered oceans that may harbor alien life below the surfaces of Enceladus and Titan, two of Saturn's largest moons. Cassini has nearly run out of propellant, and the space agency wanted to avoid crashing into and contaminating the moons - thus, the nuclear-powered probe was put down.

Too bad if the only other life in the solar system was gently spawning in Saturn's atmosphere exactly when the probe blew apart.

It's possible but I guess we won't ever know. 

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On 9/17/2017 at 5:09 AM, toast said:

Just to avoid any kind of an upcoming CT: Cassini to be destroyed in/by Saturn`s atmosphere was a scheduled mission step from the beginning on of the Cassini-Huygens mission, so Business Insigthter is wrong by giving the impression that the destruction of the probe was a decision taken because of the Cassini-Huygens mission findings. Furthermore, it would not make sense to leave a deaktivated 2.2ton probe in the orbit of Saturn as it would endanger/influence future missions to it.

however it looks like all articles online published are mentioning the version I broadcasted initially

http://science.howstuffworks.com/why-cassini-crashed-protecting-icy-moon-enceladus.htm

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On 9/16/2017 at 11:39 PM, qxcontinuum said:

Perhaps many don't know each reasons why the probe was destroyed on Saturn rather than being left out to become a dead object orbiting saturn:

From business insigthter 

 

NASA killed its only Saturn probe because it discovered oceans that may harbor alien life below the surfaces of Enceladus and Titan, two of Saturn's largest moons. Cassini has nearly run out of propellant, and the space agency wanted to avoid crashing into and contaminating the moons - thus, the nuclear-powered probe was put down.

The Cassini mission evolved over the years and at certain phases decisions were made as to the next steps. In the last few year, as Cassini was running low on fuel,  several options were explored/discussed. Among them were a slingshot maneuver outward (ala Voyager), or a stable extended orbit around Saturn. The possibility of contaminating one of the moons was a big factor in ruling out the latter. In the end it was decided that there was a great deal to be gained (data wise) by skimming the upper atmosphere of Saturn and sending back readings even though it meant a terminus event for the mission, vs sending it into the outer solar system. There probably wasn't enough fuel to make the adjustment necessary to get very close to any of the outer planets.

Any suggestion that we "found life" (or even the likelihood that it's there) however, is made-up hooey. 

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21 minutes ago, qxcontinuum said:

however it looks like all articles online published are mentioning the version I broadcasted initially

http://science.howstuffworks.com/why-cassini-crashed-protecting-icy-moon-enceladus.htm

Does not change the fact that the destruction of Cassini in Saturn`s atmosphere was planned at the time already when Cassini was still not build.

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Posted (edited)

On 9/17/2017 at 0:39 AM, qxcontinuum said:

Perhaps many don't know each reasons why the probe was destroyed on Saturn rather than being left out to become a dead object orbiting saturn:

From business insigthter 

 

NASA killed its only Saturn probe because it discovered oceans that may harbor alien life below the surfaces of Enceladus and Titan, two of Saturn's largest moons. Cassini has nearly run out of propellant, and the space agency wanted to avoid crashing into and contaminating the moons - thus, the nuclear-powered probe was put down.

You understand that they haven't found any life in the Saturnian system but they have found two moons that could possibly support life right?  Also, this life would probably be something that survives off volcanic  activity like we have life around deep ocean "black smokers" so we are't talking about advanced life forms here.  All speculation of course because we have no way of actually exploring either of these bodies at this time.  

16 minutes ago, toast said:

Does not change the fact that the destruction of Cassini in Saturn`s atmosphere was planned at the time already when Cassini was still not build.

I thought it was one of a few possibilities and they left the decision to be made later?  I can't find anything about it on the net so, honestly, I don't know

Edited by Merc14

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15 minutes ago, Merc14 said:

 I thought it was one of a few possibilities and they left the decision to be made later? 

I remember a TV interview with an ESA guy in the 90s and he spoke about the destruction of Cassini at the mission`s end-

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Just now, toast said:

I remember a TV interview with an ESA guy in the 90s and he spoke about the destruction of Cassini at the mission`s end-

Ok thanks I didn't know and was always curious about it.  :tu:

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Posted (edited)

According to Wiki - a reliable source(!) - the plan was always to make sure that no biological contamination of Saturn's moons would occur. However, this did not necessarily mean destroying Cassini. For example, one option was to place the probe in a high orbit around Titan. The various options were assessed in 2008 at the time of the mission extension, and by 2014 the decision had been made to plunge Cassini into Saturn's atmosphere in a "Grand Finale".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassini_retirement

The last few days have been a fascinating revisit of the amazing images and data sent back by one of NASA and ESA's most successful missions!

Edit: Despite what Wiki says, like Toast I have a vague memory of someone at around the time of Cassini's launch mentioning that ultimately the probe would be destroyed. 

Edited by Derek Willis

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