Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Cassini

  • Cassini’s final close orbits of Saturn providing new data on ringed world

    Jim SharkeyOctober 15th, 2018

    More than a year after it concluded its 20 year voyage of discovery, the Cassini mission is still providing details about Saturn.

  • Cassini data reveals another feature that suggests Titan is similar to Earth

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 25th, 2018

    Is Titan similar to Earth? New data from the Cassini orbiter suggests it is.

  • Scientists reveal Cassini’s final view of Titan’s northern hemisphere

    Joe LatrellSeptember 21st, 2018

    One year ago, the Cassini spacecraft, which logged over 13 years of observations at Saturn, plunged to its end in the crushing depth's of Saturn's atmosphere. Today, scientists are still studying the data the spacecraft send back to Earth.

  • Saturn’s moon Enceladus has conditions that could support microbial life

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 4th, 2018

    Complex organic molecules have been discovered in the plumes of Saturn's moon Enceladus. The data transmitted back to Earth by the Cassini Saturn orbiter, which ended its service above the ringed world on Sept. 16, 2017.

  • NASA shows ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ image captured by Cassini

    Joe LatrellApril 25th, 2018

    In a view reminiscent of rainbows on Earth, NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this image of Saturn's rings. The photo was taken by the spacecraft on Aug. 22, 2009. According to NASA, this natural-color view was created by merging spectral filters of red, green, and blue into the final image.

  • Saturn’s moon Titan has ‘sea level’ like Earth

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 20th, 2018

    Researchers using data from NASA's Cassini mission have discovered a striking similarity between Earth and Saturn's moon Titan. Just as the surface of Earth's oceans lies at an average elevation referred to as "sea level", Titan's seas also lie at an average elevation. Titan is the only world in our solar system other than Earth known to have stable liquid on its surface. Instead of water, Titan's lakes and seas are filled with hydrocarbons, mostly  methane and ethane. Water ice, covered by a layer of solid organic material, forms the bedrock surrounding these lakes and seas.

  • Titan’s haze captured in Cassini photo

    Jason RhianJanuary 17th, 2018

    Downtown L.A. has got nothing on Saturn's moon Titan, at least in terms of smoggy haze that is. Imagery captured by the Cassini spacecraft prior to its plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017 shows a world blanketed in a dense mist.

  • NASA releases Cassini’s farewell view of Saturn

    Jim SharkeyNovember 28th, 2017

    During the final leg of NASA's Cassini mission at Saturn, the spacecraft took a lingering last look at the planet that has been its home for more than 13 years by snapping a series of images that has been assembled into a new mosaic.

  • Cassini data proposes new explanation for Enceladus’ active ocean

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 7th, 2017

    A new study that incorporates various findings by NASA's Cassini mission regarding Saturn's moon Enceladus proposes that the moon has a porous core in which rocks flex and rub together, producing sufficient heat via friction to power its global subsurface ocean.

  • Reconstructing Cassini’s final moments

    Jim SharkeyOctober 21st, 2017

    During the Cassini spacecraft's final plunge into Saturn's upper atmosphere on Sept.15, 2017, the spacecraft live-streamed data from eight of its science instruments, providing readings from a variety of engineering systems. While it will take time to analyze all of the data from its plunge, engineers with the Cassini team already have a pretty clear understanding of how the spacecraft behaved as it went in.

  • Their words: Cassini’s Hunter Waite and the quest to look beyond

    Matthew KuhnsSeptember 24th, 2017

    PASADENA, Calif. — Peering through the atmospheres of other worlds to determine what they are made of is difficult enough, but to do so reliably for 13 years is an astonishing accomplishment. Hunter Waite, the INMS team leader at SwRI, spoke with SpaceFlight Insider about the mission in the lead-up to Cassini's "final bow".

  • Their words: Cassini’s Linda Spilker on mission’s legacy

    Matthew KuhnsSeptember 23rd, 2017

    PASADENA, Calif. — When Cassini took its final bow into the upper atmosphere of the gas giant Saturn, a good many people who had labored on the nearly 20-year-long mission were forced to say goodbye to a machine that had become all but a member of the family. One thing that was not lost that day was the wealth of knowledge that Cassini had sent back to those it left behind on Earth.

  • Cassini: The legend and legacy of one of NASA’s most prolific missions

    Ocean McIntyreSeptember 17th, 2017

    PASADENA, Calif. — Just one month shy of twenty years in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft dramatically ended its mission in the early morning hours at approximately 4:55 a.m. PDT (7:55 a.m. EDT / 11:55 GMT) Earth-Received Time (ERT) on Friday, September 15, 2017.

  • Gallery: Controllers receive last signals before Cassini spacecraft demise

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 15th, 2017

    PASADENA, Calif. — With its fuel nearly depleted, Cassini made a final plunge toward Saturn to get as much science as possible before burning up in the planet's atmosphere. Flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) lost telemetry with the spacecraft, as expected, at about 7:55 a.m. EDT (11:55 GMT) Sept. 15, 2017.

  • LIVE: Cassini spacecraft ends its mission at Saturn

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 15th, 2017

    NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is making a final plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere to end its mission some 13 years after reaching the ringed world. Flight controllers at NASA are receiving the probe’s final data before it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere.