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NASA's Cassini Ends Date With Saturn: Here Are Some Of The Best Images Snapped By This Spacecraft

30 April 2017, 9:49 am EDT By Kalyan Kumar Tech Times
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Cassini spacecraft, now in the final phase of its mission, has made a successful dive between the planet and its rings for the first time. It is now gearing up for the final plunge into Saturn’s surface by September.  ( NASA )

The grand finale or end journey of Cassini spacecraft is progressing well. In the next few months, the spacecraft will plunge into Saturn's surface.

The data from Cassini came on April 27 after the spacecraft made the daring dive at a speed of 77,000 miles per hour, according to NASA.

The latest update is that the robotic mission is going strong and has successfully finished its first dive and doused all concerns.

Cassini successfully rode through the gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26. The spacecraft also sent valued data and images of up-close encounters with Saturn, including a giant hurricane.

According to Earl Maize, Project Manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA in Pasadena, this is the first time clear data have been procured on the nature of the gap between the rings and Saturn.

"I am delighted to report that Cassini shot through the gap just as we planned and has come out the other side in excellent shape," Maize added.

On the mighty hurricane's image captured by Cassini and sent to Earth, NASA researchers said it was "the center of the vortex at its pole, stretching almost 1,500 miles."

Cassini has to complete 21 more dives before it takes a final plunge to death at Saturn's surface on Sept. 15.

Cassini Blazes New Trail

"In the grandest tradition of exploration, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has once again blazed a trail, showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA.

Launched in 1997, Cassini arrived at the Saturn in 2004.

A New Legacy On Saturn Exploration

Thanks to Cassini, there are new images and data of the gap between Saturn and rings, which NASA analysts are calling stunning.

The successful dive has earned Cassini the record of being the first human-made object that has ventured into the complex web of ice and dust in Saturn's world.

After contributing many thrilling moments and exciting images, Cassini's 'grand finale' is adding more fascination on science.

Cassini has captured the image of North Pole of Saturn while fresh light of the spring graced it. Images of North Pole eluded Cassini because of winter when the spacecraft first arrived at the Saturn in 2004.

(Photo : NASA) Cassini has captured the image of North Pole of Saturn while fresh light of the spring graced it. Images of North Pole eluded Cassini because of winter when the spacecraft first arrived at the Saturn in 2004.

Cassini’s close approach to Saturn's icy moon Mimas on January 30, 2017 led to some best images with the highest resolution. The moon is home to countless craters, and earns its distinct appearance from a huge crater.

(Photo : NASA) Cassini’s close approach to Saturn's icy moon Mimas on Jan. 30, 2017 led to some best images with the highest resolution. The moon is home to countless craters and earns its distinct appearance from a huge crater.

Cassini’s images of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus is special because it gave an idea why jets of dust and gas has are bursting out from this moon’s surface. The clues foretell geologic activity and life in the ocean underneath

(Photo : NASA) Cassini’s images of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus is special because it gave an idea why jets of dust and gas has are bursting out from this moon’s surface. The clues foretell geologic activity and life in the ocean underneath.

Daphnis is Saturn’s ring-embedded moon giving a perception that it is stimulating waves while orbiting in the Keeler gap. Daphnis, though small, exercises super gravity to disrupt the tiny particles of the A ring that form the edges of Keeler gap.

(Photo : NASA) Daphnis is Saturn’s ring-embedded moon giving a perception that it is stimulating waves while orbiting in the Keeler gap. Daphnis, though small, exercises super gravity to disrupt the tiny particles of the A ring that form the edges of Keeler gap.

Saturn’s F ring is an example of how moons of Saturn shape up the rings, which are considered marvels of gravitational sculpting. This image was taken by Cassini in visible light with the wide-angle camera on March 8, 2014.

(Photo : NASA) Saturn’s F ring is an example of how moons of Saturn shape up the rings, which are considered marvels of gravitational sculpting. This image was taken by Cassini in visible light with the wide-angle camera on March 8, 2014.

Saturn, when seen from a distance is an embodiment of serenity and peace betraying its turbulent world within. The image was taken by Cassini’s wide-angle camera on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of 1.6 million miles

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