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Cassini set for total destruction on Friday

37 posts in this topic

27 minutes ago, Derek Willis said:

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. 

I have more than a vague memory. Many years ago I was arguing with conspiracy theorists, on this site, that claimed that NASA's plan was to use the plutonium on board Cassini to ignite Saturn's core and turn it into a second sun. The Illuminati and or NWO would escape to Titan and the rest of us would die. Mind you they made exactly the same claims about Galileo and Jupiter.

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17 hours ago, Merc14 said:

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.  

the subject of conversation here isn't about the complexity of life that may be harbored by Enceladus or Titan but the decision Nasa has made to crash Cassini on Saturn. Looks like everywhere online it is announced as such . I also find interesting the decision taken to crash the probe rather than place it on either one's orbit and continue observations, since the battery was still having life. 

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28 minutes ago, qxcontinuum said:

the subject of conversation here isn't about the complexity of life that may be harbored by Enceladus or Titan but the decision Nasa has made to crash Cassini on Saturn. Looks like everywhere online it is announced as such . I also find interesting the decision taken to crash the probe rather than place it on either one's orbit and continue observations

OK,. I guess I am just surprised that this is news to you as the decision was made back in April, it was all over the news, the reasoning behind it has been written about in countless articles  and it has been talked about here many times.  In other words, it is a surprise only to you.    

Quote

since the battery was still having life. 

It doesn't run off a battery, it runs off an RTG and while was still providing power, the propellant was nearly gone which means there was absolutely no way to maneuver the craft.  All options were discussed and the team thought that getting closeup data on Saturn and sampling the space between the planet and its rings would provide far more worthwhile data than what could be gleaned form a static parking orbit.  Also, by destroying the craft they guaranteed it would never crash into either of those two moons.  I think they made the right decision and the data gathered will be far more valuable than your alternate scenario.  

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47 minutes ago, Merc14 said:

OK,. I guess I am just surprised that this is news to you as the decision was made back in April, it was all over the news, the reasoning behind it has been written about in countless articles  and it has been talked about here many times.  In other words, it is a surprise only to you.    

It doesn't run off a battery, it runs off an RTG and while was still providing power, the propellant was nearly gone which means there was absolutely no way to maneuver the craft.  All options were discussed and the team thought that getting closeup data on Saturn and sampling the space between the planet and its rings would provide far more worthwhile data than what could be gleaned form a static parking orbit.  Also, by destroying the craft they guaranteed it would never crash into either of those two moons.  I think they made the right decision and the data gathered will be far more valuable than your alternate scenario.  

Thanks for expanding. A few months back i was surprised reading that Cassini's mission is coming to an end and the plan was to crash it. At that time I though reasons would be equipment failure including battery (well RTG), however after reading that the battery's life was still suffice to maintain it's core operations functional excluding propellant, the most natural decision in my opinion was to move it to a fix orbit to maintain this important asset rather than crash it... however I found fascinating that after recent discoveries or confirmation that under Enceladus there's a liquid ocean with thermal activity that may harbor life Nasa decided crashing to avoid potential disruption in their ecosystems. 

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34 minutes ago, qxcontinuum said:

Thanks for expanding. A few months back i was surprised reading that Cassini's mission is coming to an end and the plan was to crash it. At that time I though reasons would be equipment failure including battery (well RTG), however after reading that the battery's life was still suffice to maintain it's core operations functional excluding propellant, the most natural decision in my opinion was to move it to a fix orbit to maintain this important asset rather than crash it... however I found fascinating that after recent discoveries or confirmation that under Enceladus there's a liquid ocean with thermal activity that may harbor life Nasa decided crashing to avoid potential disruption in their ecosystems. 

Also, Cassini was 20 years old and on her third extension so while things were running they were wearing out and it costs money to monitor missions so this would be very little return for the dollar.  Flying between the rings, however, provided a wealth of new data and no one knew what the craft would run into, it was an unknown.    Much better investment IMHO.

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18 hours ago, qxcontinuum said:

 however I found fascinating that after recent discoveries or confirmation that under Enceladus there's a liquid ocean with thermal activity that may harbor life Nasa decided crashing to avoid potential disruption in their ecosystems. 

Incinerating a spacecraft in this way is the standard M,O, for NASA, As pointed out by toast, Derek Willis and myself, this was planned long ago, and indeed was how the mission of Galileo was ended at Jupiter back in 2003.

The destruction of a spacecraft in this way is not just to protect any potential life that may exist on the moons, it is to prevent Earth life getting there. If a future mission to, for example, Enceladus discovers microbial life, scientists will need to be 100% certain that it was not accidentally introduced by a previous mission.

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On 9/20/2017 at 5:00 AM, Waspie_Dwarf said:

Incinerating a spacecraft in this way is the standard M,O, for NASA, As pointed out by toast, Derek Willis and myself, this was planned long ago, and indeed was how the mission of Galileo was ended at Jupiter back in 2003.

The destruction of a spacecraft in this way is not just to protect any potential life that may exist on the moons, it is to prevent Earth life getting there. If a future mission to, for example, Enceladus discovers microbial life, scientists will need to be 100% certain that it was not accidentally introduced by a previous mission.

understandable but not truly applicable in this case since Cassini hosted the Huygens probe who landed on Titan, hence already producing the potential contamination :) 

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10 hours ago, qxcontinuum said:

understandable but not truly applicable in this case since Cassini hosted the Huygens probe who landed on Titan, hence already producing the potential contamination :) 

Huygens was designed to be landed on Titan and hence underwent a more vigorous process of decontamination than Cassini, which was not designed to impact on the moons.

Unlike Enceladus it is also unlikely that Titan could host life or that contamination from Earth could survive there.

It is also not logical to think that simply because one probe may have been a source of contamination that 13 years later they would simply repeat the same mistake. Human beings  (well some anyway) are capable of learning from their past errors.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
Typo.
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10 hours ago, qxcontinuum said:

understandable but not truly applicable in this case since Cassini hosted the Huygens probe who landed on Titan, hence already producing the potential contamination :) 

You are working some angle here and simply beating around the bush, why don't you knock it off and simply post what you really think this is about?

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2 hours ago, Merc14 said:

You are working some angle here and simply beating around the bush, why don't you knock it off and simply post what you really think this is about?

I can assure you that there's no conspiracies in mind , nor saturnian, plutonian, venusoian , illuminati etc , related ... rofl 

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57 minutes ago, qxcontinuum said:

I can assure you that there's no conspiracies in mind , nor saturnian, plutonian, venusoian , illuminati etc , related ... rofl 

What are you rofl'ing about,  you have had some truly bizarre ideas here in the past and I can assure you that everyone else was waiting for the other shoe to drop.   I still have no idea why you are acting as if this mission end was some strange occurrence and am still convinced you have some bizarre theory you are waiting to post but so be it.  

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you are off topic ... again :(

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