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Cassini Mission Has Provided Lot of Interesting Data to Astronomers: NASA
Cassini mission has provided high amount of interesting data to astronomers. The mission was launched in 1997 and became the first to enter Saturn’s orbit. The mission will end in year 2017 and NASA engineers are excited about what the mission spacecraft will offer them before it ends. On January 1, 2017, Cassini mission will start Ring Grazing Orbit #5. During this ring-grazing orbit the spacecraft’s visible light camera called the (Imaging Science Subsystem [ISS]) will capture high-resolution images of Saturn’s B and C rings during the earlier part of the orbit, and of Saturn’s F and A rings during the latter part of the orbit. If all goes well, the images will be of exceptionally high resolution.
During its mission, Cassini has clicked nearly 400,000 images. The spacecraft has been sent 2.4 million commands by the base station. In year 2017, Cassini will run a series of dives to Saturn’s rings, every seven days. There will be 20 such events and astronomers are eagerly waiting for the data that Cassini will collect during these dives.
On September 15 this year, Cassini will make a final plunge towards Saturn’s surface. The mission has dropped a lander on Saturn’s moon Titan which has provided amazing data and information about oceans on methane on Titan.
Two instruments will scoop up ring particles and gases to analyze and make an in-depth scan of the rings' structure.
The spacecraft is powered by composite infrared spectrometer, imaging system, ultraviolet imaging spectrograph, visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, imaging radar, radio science, plasma spectrometer, cosmic dust analyzer, ion and neutral mass spectrometer, magnetometer, magnetospheric imaging instrument, radio and plasma wave science.
The mission is a joint effort of NASA, European Space Agency (ESA) and Italian space agency Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI).