The NASA spacecraft, touring Saturn and its satellites, is going to make the flight more interesting.
In less than 10 months, the NASA unit will sink into Saturn, ending a 20-year journey around the rings and moons. But before leaving, he had planned some goodbye gifts.
This week, Cassini made the penultimate passage past Titan - the largest of 62 satellites of Saturn. Thus, he entered a new orbit, more perpendicular to the equator and the rings of the planet.
The new path advances Cassini over the edge of the outer ring, providing scientists with unprecedented possibilities for sampling ring particles, surrounding gases, exposing rings to radio waves and photographing incredible landscapes. The first pass on the ring F will be made on Sunday. It is planned to pay attention to the orbits of 19 rings, one for a week.
Before the finale, Cassini will finally plunge into Titan and will pass almost polarly around the planet, so he will be between Saturn and the inner ring.
The journey ends on September 5, 2017, when the machine enters Saturn’s dense atmosphere to prevent the most unlikely but dangerous scenario: contamination of any potentially inhabited moon with terrestrial microbes that are so strong that they can survive for about 20 years in radioactive space.
NASA wants to end the mission before the fuel runs out to correctly indicate the location of the fall. But before this event remains another 9.5 months.