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Spacecraft Cassini Headed For Death Plunge To Reveal Information About Saturn & Its Rings

By Dipannita | Apr 26, 2017 08:18 AM EDT

More information about Saturn and its rings will be available in the months to come as Cassini, the NASA spacecraft is all set to take the first dive on Thursday. Of the 22 dives it will be taking, the last dive will materialize on Sep 15 and after that scientists expect to get more details about the sixth planet of the solar system.

NASA's unmanned spacecraft Cassini will be making a deep dive between Saturn and its rings on April 26. According to Deccan Chronicle, it is scheduled to take place at 5:00 am Florida time and after that, all contact will be lost with the spacecraft. It will resume contact only one day later and during this disconnected phase Cassini will be making observations and gathering data about the planet.

NASA has said that if everything goes well, the spacecraft will start sending data and images soon after resuming contact. However, the first dive of Cassini is fraught with danger as it will be closest to Saturn's band of rocks and ice that surround it from all sides and move at a massive speed of around 67,800 miles per hour.

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Notably, Cassini is a 6.7-meter tall spacecraft that was launched 20 years back in 1997 and began orbiting the ringed planet in 2004. The spacecraft has been giving out information about Saturn and it has released a number of images of the planet, Phys.org claimed. In January 2008, the Subaru Telescope helped Dr. Hideaki Fujiwara make some interesting observation about Saturn's rings.

Now that Cassini is scheduled to make its final dive in some months, scientists hope to get fresh images of the rings and they are expected to help in the further exploration of Saturn and its mysterious rings. With the new data, scientists can find out if the rings are old or new and also how they were formed.

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