Saturday, 24 February, 2018

Astronomers bid farewell to $3.9-B Saturn spacecraft

Cassini has begun transmitting the final images of its mission revealing a last look at Saturn and its rings before the spacecraft plunges into the planet's atmosphere. This image was captured on September 13 The space agency has begun releasing the raw unprocessed images as Cassini prepares for its ‘death dive
Christy Curtis | 16 September, 2017, 00:13

A NASA space probe which has been orbiting Saturn for the last 13 years has ended its mission with a spectacular suicide dive into the ringed planet's atmosphere.

Launched in 1997, the 3.26 billion USA dollar Cassini-Huygens mission has been touring the Saturn system since arriving there in 2004.

NASA and its worldwide partners decided the best option was to deliberately send the spacecraft hurtling into the planet, rather than risking a collision with one of Saturn's moons.

Cassini-Huygens travelled to Saturn via a circuitous route, using the gravity assist technique to receive boosts in speed from the Earth, Venus, and Jupiter, and taking in an asteroid, Masursky, along the way.

NASA's science mission director, Thomas Zurbuchen, made note of all the tissues inside JPL's Mission Control, along with the customary lucky peanuts. The spacecraft was also slated to send images of hexagon-shaped jet stream around planet's north pole.

Ground control sent the spacecraft into the atmosphere of Saturn at about 12.55PM on Friday, September 15, completing a 20-year long mission. Launched in 1997, Cassini traveled seven years through and across 2.2 billion miles of space to reach Saturn.

Spacecraft Operations Manager Julie Webster announced the loss of signal within a minute of the predicted demise.

Watch below, starting at 7 a.m. EDT (4 a.m. PDT), for a behind the scenes look as the scientists and engineers of the mission await Cassini's final transmission.

This Grand Finale, as NASA called it, came about as Cassini's fuel tank started getting low after 13 years exploring the planet.

Following its death, Nasa tweeted: "Every time we see Saturn in the night sky, we'll remember".

Cassini was estimated to last about a minute and a half in Saturn's atmosphere before high temperatures ripped apart and melted its components.

Including Titan, Cassini explored a total of 19 Saturnian moons in detail. The hitchhiking European Huygens landed on big moon Titan in 2005. According to a report by NASA, the spacecraft is ending its journey to ensure Saturn's moons, especially Enceladus, remains in pristine state for future exploration.

"We want to go back to Titan, we want to go back to Enceladus; there's so much we don't know about the interior of Saturn, so people have talked about Saturn probe missions".

During its mission, Cassini made numerous scientific discoveries and significantly changed the way we think about our solar system.

Recommended

  • Samsung Creates $300 Million Self-Driving Cars Fund

    Samsung Creates $300 Million Self-Driving Cars Fund

    Absmeier will retain his current job as head of smart machines for the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center in Silicon Valley. The new unit will sit within the connected auto business of Harman , an independent subsidiary of Samsung , a spokesman added.
    Arsenal vs Cologne line-ups: Jack Wilshere left out of Gunners starting XI

    Arsenal vs Cologne line-ups: Jack Wilshere left out of Gunners starting XI

    Cologne are now bottom of the Bundesliga table, having lost all three of their opening games in this season's German top flight . The Bundesliga side were allocated around 3000 tickets, but some 20,000 supporters are said to be in the capital.
    8 dead in Texas mass shooting

    8 dead in Texas mass shooting

    Tilley said that the officer "engaged the suspect", shooting and killing him after he took aim at the cop. The first officer at the scene saw people shot in the backyard, and decided he couldn't wait for backup.
  • White House: Hill Tweet Is Firing Offense

    White House: Hill Tweet Is Firing Offense

    Many users expressed shock at the idea of the White House encouraging ESPN to fire someone for criticizing the president. For her part, Hill hasn't posted anything new on Twitter since ESPN weighed in on Tuesday.
    Google start soon mobile payment service in India

    Google start soon mobile payment service in India

    Apart from UPI , the company will also be integrating third-party payment wallets such as Paytm and MobiKwik , among others. This seems like Google is also making its first approach to the Indian payment market by launching Google Tez app.
    World's oldest panda in captivity dies in China

    World's oldest panda in captivity dies in China

    Remarkably, she was nearly killed as a youngster after falling into an icy river was but rescued by villagers from the Basi Gorge. In August, the Guinness World Records confirmed her as the world's oldest living captive panda.
  • Palace pin hopes on Hodgson for fortune revival

    Palace pin hopes on Hodgson for fortune revival

    Roy Hodgson has been appointed the new manager of Crystal Palace , the English Premier League club announced Tuesday. I saw a team which I thought dominated the game, defended well. "Everything evolves.
    Andre Ayew's consistency offers promise for West Ham United

    Andre Ayew's consistency offers promise for West Ham United

    The Hammers moved up to 18th place, still in the relegation zone, while Huddersfield stayed sixth with seven points from its four games.
    IOC officially announces Paris, Los Angeles as Olympic hosts

    IOC officially announces Paris, Los Angeles as Olympic hosts

    The LA 2028 team were casual and relaxed, with Bid Chair Casey Wasserman promising a "unique brand of California cool". The only question was: Which city would agree to take 2028? For Paris, however, the wait has been considerably longer.
  • 2024, 2028 Olympic Games: Paris, Los Angeles win hosting rights

    2024, 2028 Olympic Games: Paris, Los Angeles win hosting rights

    Olympic Committee had to pull the plug on its initial candidate, Boston, due to lack of public support. For Paris, however, the wait has been considerably longer.

    Manchester United have their fear factor back under Jose Mourinho - Paul Parker

    Manchester United cruised their way to an easy 3-0 win against FC Basel in their UEFA Champions League opener this Tuesday. There was one negative as Paul Pogba was forced off with a hamstring problem.
    Two dead and three missing in Singapore ship collision

    Two dead and three missing in Singapore ship collision

    Search and rescue operations underway to locate the missing crew from dredger which collided with a tanker in Singapore waters. The maritime authority has told ships to look out for the missing crew and to navigate with caution near the collision site.

Rohingya Muslims are threat to national security, Govt tells Supreme Court Rohingya Muslims are threat to national security, Govt tells Supreme Court Union minister VK Singh on Wednesday said the government will follow its policy for refugees to tackle the Rohingya issue. Above: Rohingya refugees crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

Why Oracle Earnings Are So Great Why Oracle Earnings Are So Great President-Product Development Thomas Kurian sold 750,000 shares at an average price of $50.46 on Tue the 18th. Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL ) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 14th.

Chelsea: The Striker Antonio Conte Chased All Summer But Missed Out On Chelsea: The Striker Antonio Conte Chased All Summer But Missed Out On The 32-year-old Llorente's switch to Spurs came as a bit of surprise, given he was initially linked with a move to Premier League champions Chelsea.

Australia kicks off postal vote to decide on legalising same-sex marriage Australia kicks off postal vote to decide on legalising same-sex marriage The legislation was introduced because the survey is not covered by the usual safeguards governing elections in Australia. The postal survey on the proposal to change Australia's Marriage Act is now being sent to voters.

Fearless predictions: Sean McDermott knows how to rattle Cam Newton Fearless predictions: Sean McDermott knows how to rattle Cam Newton There's no reason to think he won't be close to that based on his ability to play running back, slot receiver and wide receiver. The Panthers success started up front as they were able to sack Brian Hoyer four times and register eight QB hits.

KPMG South Africa clears out top leadership over Gupta scandal KPMG South Africa clears out top leadership over Gupta scandal KPMG is one of four global firms which have launched major investigations into their work with the Guptas. Mr Wessels did not answer a call to his mobile phone seeking comment.

Nigeria drop 6 places in latest Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings Nigeria drop 6 places in latest Federation Internationale de Football Association  rankings That was not enough to take them upwards, as they are now ranked fifth in Africa, according to the world football governing body. Stanley Okumbi's charges have dropped to position 88 with 400 points from the 82nd spot they occupied last month.

U.S. lawmakers want tougher N Korea response The United States sought to ban all oil exports to North Korea, but the new U.N. sanctions did not include such a measure. North Korea said its test on Sept 3 was of an advanced hydrogen bomb and it was its most powerful nuclear blast by far.

Duke Energy says power to be restored by Sunday 'at the latest' Duke Energy says power to be restored by Sunday 'at the latest' Another 45,000 customers got power restored in Lee County, which is down to 311,000 without power, still 71 percent of the county. Duke Energy outages totaled 1.2 million in Florida, with almost 100,000 customers restored in the early stages by mid-day Monday.

Saudi Arabia 'arrests clerics in crackdown on dissent' Saudi Arabia 'arrests clerics in crackdown on dissent' Qatar is facing regional isolation after Saudi Arabia , UAE, Bahrain plus Egypt cut ties with the small monarchy on June 5. Israel's neighbors in the Middle East continue to sling mud at one another in their quarrel over Qatar .

Tottenham Hotspur Target Isco Signs New Real Madrid Contract Tottenham Hotspur Target Isco Signs New Real Madrid Contract The Brazilian International will be absent for Sunday's trip to Real Sociedad and the visit of Real Betis on September 20. The Brazil worldwide can boast three Champions League titles to his name, along with four La Liga crowns.

NTSB: Troy Gentry helicopter crash caused by engine problems NTSB: Troy Gentry helicopter crash caused by engine problems The report's findings expand upon initial reports that the helicopter pilot experienced mechanical issues prior to crashing. Crews worked for hours to remove Robinson's body from the wreck.

Multistate Campylobacter Outbreak Linked to Puppies Sold by Petland Multistate Campylobacter Outbreak Linked to Puppies Sold by Petland The CDC has advised pet owners to take particular care to clean up after their dogs and wash their hands thoroughly. Epidemiologic and laboratory findings have linked the outbreak to contact with puppies sold through Petland stores.

USA bans government use of software from Russian firm Kaspersky USA  bans government use of software from Russian firm Kaspersky The Department of Homeland Security has banned the use of Russian-made antivirus software across all federal computer networks. On Wednesday, she applauded the DHS for "heeding" her call, labeling Kaspersky a "direct threat to national security".

25% of Florida Keys buildings destroyed, FEMA says 25% of Florida Keys buildings destroyed, FEMA says There is a long period of swells from Irma, and northeast winds the last few days from a high pressure system in the northeast. But by Sunday, just before the season's halfway point, there had already been 11 named storms and six hurricanes.