For the last 13 years, a spacecraft known as Cassini has been on a mission to Saturn to study the beautiful planet. NASA says that the spacecraft is 22 feet high and weighs 4685 pounds under the gravity of planet earth. To fully comprehend this, it weighs more than a tipped van. The spacecraft is equipped with sensors, antennas, and cameras that have been relaying data to planet earth. Up to date, it’s in the class of the most sophisticated as well as most complex spy robots to have ever orbited the planetary system. However, come this week on Friday, the whole world will see Cassini die. The spacecraft will be driven into oblivion by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California team that has been monitoring the Cassini mission. They will achieve this feat by riding the spacecraft against the Saturn clouds. During the destruction phase, the scientists will also be collecting data as Cassini rubs against them. The spacecraft will eventually turn to a meteor when it is overcome by the entry atmospheric pressure and heat. And that will be the end of years of wonder and discovery. This is a mission that began in the early 1980s and was referred to as the Cassin-Huygens mission. At first, the mission was supposed to make the European Space Agency and NASA work together.
At the same time, the mission was geared towards studying the most fascinating part of the planetary system. Saturn is known for its mesmerizing mysterious rings. At the same time, it is known for a panoply of strange moons. At the moment, 62 moons have been identified. Before the mission began, Saturn was the outpost planet meaning that Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto had not been discovered. The spacecraft launched 20 years ago and had two parts. The orbiter which was designed by NASA and a lander which was known as Huygens probe which was constructed by the European Space Agency. The role of the lander was to study Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. The mission was named after scientists who had made important discoveries about Saturn. There was Giovanni Domenico Cassini who discovered the dark gap seen in the enigmatic rings of Saturn. At the same time, he is credited with discovering four moons. The other scientist was Christian Huygens who is credited with explaining the Saturn rings and also discovered Titan. The two arrived at Saturn in July 2014. Huygens left the spacecraft in December that year for Titan.