Cassini Saturnian exploration

Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn the first to enter orbit, its mission to explore the Saturnian system.

Mohsin Ali | | NASA, Science & Technology, Space, Infographic

An unmanned NASA spacecraft, Cassini, is poised to plunge into the gap between Saturn and its rings, a pioneering journey that could offer an unprecedented view of the sixth planet from the Sun.

Cassini is a 20-year-old joint mission of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency.

The 6.7-metre spacecraft launched in 1997, back when Bill Clinton was president, and began orbiting Saturn in 2004.

Cassini's latest adventure is a swansong for the spacecraft, as it is running low on fuel, and will make a death plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on September 15.



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