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NASA Announces Cassini End-of-Mission Activities

Cassini versus Saturn (Illustration)

As depicted in this illustration, Cassini will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017. Using its attitude control thrusters, the spacecraft will work to keep its antenna pointed at Earth while it sends its final data, including the composition of Saturn’s upper atmosphere. The atmospheric torque will quickly become stronger than what the thrusters can compensate for, and after that point, Cassini will begin to tumble. When this happens, its radio connection to Earth will be severed, ending the mission. Following loss of signal, the spacecraft will burn up like a meteor in Saturn’s upper atmosphere.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

NASA Announces Cassini End-of-Mission Activities

On Sept. 15, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will complete its remarkable story of exploration with an intentional plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere, ending its mission after nearly 20 years in space. News briefings, photo opportunities and other media events will be held at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

 

NASA also will hold a media teleconference Tuesday, Aug. 29 to preview activities for Cassini during its final two weeks.

On Sept. 15, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will complete its remarkable story of exploration with an intentional plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere, ending its mission after nearly 20 years in space. News briefings, photo opportunities and other media events will be held at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA also will hold a media teleconference Tuesday, Aug. 29 to preview activities for Cassini during its final two weeks.

Visuals discussed during the telecon will be available at the start of the event at:

https://www.nasa.gov/cassinitelecon

Wednesday, Sept. 13

1 p.m. EDT — News conference from JPL with a detailed preview of final mission activities (also available on NASA TV and online)

Thursday, Sept. 14

10 a.m. to 3 p.m PDT — NASA Social — onsite gathering for 30 pre-selected social media followers. Events will include a tour, and a speaker program that will be carried on NASA TV and online.
About 8 p.m. PDT — Final downlink of images expected to begin (streamed online only)

Friday, Sept. 15: End of Mission

7 to 8:30 a.m. EDT — Live commentary on NASA TV and online. In addition, an uninterrupted, clean feed of cameras from JPL Mission Control, with mission audio only, will be available during the commentary on the NASA TV Media Channel and on Ustream.
About 8 a.m. EDT — Expected time of last signal and science data from Cassini
9:30 a.m. EDT — Post-mission news conference at JPL (on NASA TV and online)
Media and the public also may ask questions during the events using #askNASA.

For online streaming, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

To watch the news conferences online, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

http://www.youtube.com/nasajpl/live

Accreditation

To cover these events at JPL, media must have pre-arranged credentials issued via the JPL Media Relations Office. The deadlines to apply for credentials have passed.

Resources

A Cassini press kit will be available beginning on Aug. 29 at:

https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/grand-finale/for-media

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. JPL manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter.

For more information on the Cassini mission’s finale, including graphics, fact sheets, press kit, and an up-to-date timeline of mission events, visit:

https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/grandfinale

source: NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory – California Institute of Technology

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