EPIC CASSINI | The Cassini probe, which was launched to Saturn in 1997, remains fuel-free. To avoid collapsing on Saturn’s natural satellite that may have extraterrestrial life, NASA will destroy the robot by controlling the gas giant, while trying to extract as much information about the Saturn atmosphere.
Before it disappears, it will fly between Saturn and its rings to gather as much data as possible under the harsh conditions of the giant’s upper atmosphere, Business Insider notes. So before it collapses, the probe will make 22 flights between Saturn and its rings. The last five will be very close to the planet, just 1,600 km altitude.
Thus, Cassini will give astronomers, in their last moments of existence, new astonishing information about this planet.
The details and pictures recorded by the probe so far are really spectacular and unique. And for astronomers, the end of the Cassini mission will be just the beginning of a long period of time in which to analyze and interpret all the data received.
Cassini is a mission that lasted almost three decades. Powered by nuclear power and launched in October 1997, the probe entered Saturn’s orbit in July 2004 and the action gathered data about the giant gas giant and its extremely diverse moons.
NASA’s decision to chop a controlled space probe that gave us extremely precious information about Saturn and its natural satellites seems hard to understand.
However, there is a very good explanation for this decision. Cassini may be contaminated with terrestrial microbes, which would endanger the alien life forms of the Saturn system if they exist.
Astronomers believe there may be life forms on Titan or on Enceladus, Saturn’s moons, and they must be protected from possible contamination.
Therefore, NASA does not want to take any risk, even if the batteries were destroyed in the nearly 20 years spent by the probe in space, writes IFL Science.
The decision to collapse probe Saturn was taken unanimously by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, who collaborated in this important space exploration mission.
Cassini will soon be fuel-free, so he can not extend his mission. Therefore, it is most certain that it is completely destroyed, collapsing on Saturn, without endangering the evolution of life on its natural satellites.
The Cassini probe has shown that life is possible in Saturn’s satellite system
Liquid oceans hidden deep under the frozen crusts covering three of the natural satellites of the giant Saturn gaseous planets could meet the necessary conditions for the emergence and development of “life as we know it,” is the conclusion of a team of scientists which analyzes the data gathered in the Cassini mission, which is approaching the end, informs Space.com.
The tiny Enceladus and Dione, a white, bright and white, and the giant Titan satellite with its dense orange atmosphere could hide underground water in which life could exist, according to data collected by the Cassini mission, a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency.
In 1997, when this mission was launched, scientists knew of the existence of 18 natural satellites in Saturn’s orbit, while the presence of another 13 was just suspected.
Currently, due to this mission, the number of Saturdays confirmed is 53, and another 9 bodies in the planet’s orbit are being analyzed.
The data from the probe revealed the existence of seven completely unknown moons as they are not observable directly from Earth.
This elaborate system of satellites, likened by some with a solar mini system, can be considered a clockwise complex of gravitational resonances – these natural satellites mutually influence the orbits and constantly modify the structure of the emblematic rings of the planet under whose gravitational empire they are. Saturn heats by its force of attraction some of the surrounding satellites, generating conditions for the appearance of life in the basement of these bodies.
The first evidence that there might be something extraordinary beneath the ice cap from Enceladus’ surface comes from the surge of 1981’s Voyager 2 (NASA) probe.
Voyager 2’s devices captured a remarkably bright satellite with an unusually smooth surface with relatively few impact craters.
The small satellite, with only 505 kilometres in diameter, turned out to be the “Snow-White” of the Solar System, or simply the brightest and brightest object without its own light in the Solar System.
The measurements carried out in 2005 by the Cassini probe’s magnetometer caused the astonishment of scientists: The magnetic signature of this moon resembles that of a comet rather than an ordinary natural spherical satellite.
The magnetic field lines bent around the Enceladus’ Australian pole, and on an overboard where the satellite could be seen alone, against the black background of the cosmic space, Cassini’s cameras were surprised by the clouds of water vapour from this region polar.