A Tribute to Cassini

The Cassini spacecraft was launched on October 17, 1997. Seven years later, it arrived in orbit around Saturn, and has spent the last seven years exploring the gas giant, its rings, and its many moons. But Cassini's mission is coming to an end. On September 15, the probe will take its final dive toward the planet and destroy itself. I recommend clicking the video link and watching this video tribute in full size. 


(video link)

Yeah, we aren't supposed to tear up over the death of an inanimate object, but go ahead if you must. Cassini succeeded in its mission, so much that it was extended several times. The probe had a good life, and will always be remembered, especially by the scientists who spent their lives with it. You can find out more about Cassini at NASA's site dedicated to the mission, now under the name The Grand Finale.

You can also follow Cassini through its final days at Twitter. -via Metafilter 

(Top image credit: NASA/JPL)

Bonus: Here's the schedule for Cassini's final days. -Thanks, Walter!

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