Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cassini a Lone Explorer

A lone explorer, on a mission, to reveal the grandeur of Saturn, its rings and moons.

After 20 years in space, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is running out of fuel.  And so, to protect moons of Saturn that could have conditions suitable for life, a spectacular end has been planned for this long-lived traveler from Earth.

In 2004, following a 7-year journey through the solar system, Cassini arrived at Saturn. The spacecraft carried a passenger, the European Huygens probe -- the first human-made object to land on a planet in the distant outer solar system.

For over a decade, Cassini has shared the wonders of Saturn and its family of icy moons, taking us to astounding worlds where methane rivers run to a methane sea.

Where jets of ice and gas are blasting material into space from a liquid water ocean that might harbor the ingredients for life.

And Saturn a giant world ruled by raging storms and delicate harmonies of gravity.

Now, Cassini has one last, daring assignment.

Cassini's Grand Finale is a brand new adventure. Twenty-two dives through the space between Saturn and its rings.  As it repeatedly braves this unexplored region, Cassini seeks new insights into the origins of the rings and the nature of the planet's interior closer to Saturn than ever before.

On the final orbit, Cassini will plunge into Saturn fighting to keep its antenna pointed at Earth as it transmits its farewell.

In the skies of Saturn, the journey ends, as Cassini becomes part of the planet itself.

Warning to Alien Life and Human

The spacecraft captured a final view of Earth on April 12, 2017, at 10:41 p.m. PDT (1:41 a.m. EDT on April 13).  Cassini was 870 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) away from Earth.  You can also see the moon, just left of Earth.  Carl Sagan pointed out that on that dot, "every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives".  That quote was made when Voyage 1 was turned and snap a shot of The Pale Blue Dot, 4 billion miles away on July 6th, 1990.

The humans have achieved some great feats but unfortunately, our conceit gets in the way of our so called intelligence.  We still use nuclear fuel to boil water and our creation of plutonium for bombs that will wipe out populations.  We also use plutonium to power some of our space probes, approach these with caution for some radiation half-life are extremely long because you're familiar with uranium.  Man made Plutonium-244 (244Pu) is an isotope of plutonium that has a half-life of 80 million years.  This is longer than any of the other isotopes of plutonium and longer than any other actinide isotope except for the three naturally abundant ones: uranium-235 (704 million years), uranium-238 (4.468 billion years), and thorium-232 (14.05 billion years).

We have made our water here on Earth toxic, not only from nuclear but from mining oil using a method we call fracking to squeeze out one more hit to boost our economy which we will consume till there is no more and lay anything to waste like a women's empty dress laid out on a bed.

Careful entering and leaving our atmosphere, there is so much space junk orbiting around Earth where impact with debris is imminent.  After entering the atmosphere keep windows closed and change air filters due to heavy 'Chem Spraying'.  Also, avoid all military no-fly zones because we're constantly at war with one another, it's part of our great economy.

On a brighter note, life for humans is imperfect at best and we're not done evolving, that's just a probe.    

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech


NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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