Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize waits for the spacecraft’s signal at the start of the “Grand Finale” mission phase with the operations team in mission control at JPL on April 26, 2017. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Witness Cassini’s Finale at Saturn Live from JPL
Social media users may apply for access to a two-day event culminating in the triumphant end of NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn after nearly 20 years in space. Up to 25 selected participants for the September 14-15, 2017, event will tour, explore and share their experiences from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Writers, vloggers, photographers, educators, students, artists and other curious minds who use social media to engage specific audiences are encouraged to apply.
Selected attendees will tour JPL, including a visit to mission control and the Spacecraft Assembly Facility; meet Cassini mission scientists and engineers; and share in the final moments of the Cassini mission, live from the JPL media site, as the spacecraft makes a fateful plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on Sept. 15, ending its long and discovery-rich mission.
During its journey, Cassini has made many discoveries, including a global ocean with hydrothermal activity within Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and vast seas of liquid methane on the planet’s largest moon, Titan. Cassini began the final, dramatic phase of its mission, called the Grand Finale, on April 26, with the first of planned 22 dives between Saturn and its rings. The finale orbits bring the spacecraft closer to Saturn than ever before, providing stunning, high-resolution images and new insights into the planet’s interior structure and the origins of the rings. During its final plunge into Saturn, Cassini will send data about the atmosphere’s composition until its signal is lost.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.
source: NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory – California Institute of Technology