According to NASA, the Cassini spacecraft will carry out the final phase of the mission around Saturn. Scientists plan that the probe will fly near the strangest satellite of the solar system.
So far, the pictures of Hyperion, which is irregular in shape and 185 miles wide (270 km.), Were taken only from the approximate side. They show the spongy view of the satellite. During the final flight, which is expected on Sunday (May 31) at 6:36 am Pacific Daylight Time (9:36 am Eastern Time), mission scientists hope that Cassini will be able to photograph the other side of this satellite. What should show a clearer picture of its appearance.
Nevertheless, it is very difficult to predict which side of Hyperion Cassini will make its flight. After all, the satellite moves randomly along the orbit of Saturn, denying the laws of cosmic dynamics. This in turn greatly complicates the task for the experts to accurately calculate the position of the object. Hyperion has an unusually low density (and, therefore, weight) for an object of this size. Scientists believe that it is this factor that led to this unusual type of satellite. Unfortunately, the Sunday round of the Kassina will not be as close to the satellite as you would like. In 2005, Cassini flew past Hyperion at a distance of 314 miles (505 km), and the final flight would be 21,000 miles (34,000 kilometers) from the satellite.
This demo flight will be the first of several flights of Saturn’s moons. On June 16, Cassini will fly only 321 miles (516 kilometers) near Dion. This is the first of two scheduled overflights. After this flight will be made around Enceladus. And in this case, the probe will fly around the icy surface of the satellite just 30 miles (48 km)!