The spacecraft of NASA called Cassini was approaching Saturn closer than they have ever been which resulted with amazingly beautiful photos of the whole process.
Yesterday, the tops of the clouds of Saturn were visited by the NASA’s spacecraft which was flying just 3.000 kilometers or 1.900 miles away. Actually, the distance between the spacecraft and the planet’s rings was only 300 kilometers or 200 miles. There is no spacecraft that has flown this close, between the Saturn’s rings and the planet itself.
Basically this was Earl Maize’s statement on the flight. His position is Project Manager at the Jet Populsion Laboratory of NASA placed in Pasadena, California. He further added that he was more than happy to report that Cassini flew within the gap without any problems, just as it was planned and its shape was perfect right after coming out the other side.
Some very interesting, unprocessed pictures had appeared, revealing Saturn’s fascinating features and its north pole. A large hurricane moving on the gas giant can be spotted on some of the pictures. Weird shapes and forms of storms and clouds appear on the other pictures. All of these pictures are taken by the spacecraft during its quest. The link to the images is here.
You can see that the images are in black and white and it can barely see any details. But knowing NASA’s dedication to the project, and the equipment they have, the images will be colorized and polished, so in the near future we can all see more details and what the spacecraft actually took.
The Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex of NASA confirmed that this expedition was successful in Mojave Desert, California at 2.56 am EDT (7.56am BST). Cassini sent to them its data of around 66 kb/s.
NASA’s director of the Planetary Science Division in Washington came up with a statement in which he speaks of this exploration as a very successful fly, which shows spectacular discoveries and explains the importance of their curiosity, and where it can take them.
The flight of Cassini was around 144.000 kilometers per hour or 77.000 miles per hour. Cassini’s huge antenna was used as a protection from possible ring’s particles that, considering the speed, could have created enormous harm.
Cassini will perform 22 flybys in total, taking part in the Grand Finale phase. This one was its first. This expedition started last weekend, and it is supposed to end this year, on September 15th. Then, the spacecraft will be colliding with Saturn’s atmosphere. The purpose of all this is to prevent Saturn from losing its fuel.
Source > iflscience.com