NASA Cassini probe to be BLOWN UP to ‘protect Saturn’s moon aliens’ Latest News

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NASA Cassini probe to be BLOWN UP to ‘protect Saturn’s moon aliens’ Latest News

The US space agency is gearing up to explode its Cassini probe in a move that would end a 20-year mission costing $3.6 billion to explore the ringed planet.

The event – being dubbed the “Grand Finale” – will see the robot fly through the 1,500-mile gap between the gas giant and its rings of space dust.

Its plunge will shed light on how Saturn formed in the earliest days of the Solar System.

Cassini was launched on September 15, 2017, to explore and collect data on Saturn’s many moons.


The Cassini took off from Cape Canaveral in 1997NASA/GETTY


EXPLORING: The Cassini took off from Cape Canaveral in 1997


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It first arrived at its largest orbiter, Titan, in 2004 and has made numerous groundbreaking discoveries since then.

Findings have included that the moon Enceladus has ice-encrusted oceans that could be home to extraterrestrials.

But because of this potential for Saturn’s to host aliens, NASA decided to crash Cassini into the planet to avoid any contamination.


NASA CassiniGETTY


BLOWN UP: Cassini’s mission will come to an explosive end in two weeks

Curt Niebur, a Cassini program scientist at NASA, said: “The mission has been insanely, wildly, beautifully successful, and it’s coming to an end in about two weeks.
“But Cassini will not go quietly.”

The craft will turn into a huge fireball as the remainder of its nuclear fuel, plutonium-238, burns up.

NASA said in an earlier statement: “No other mission has ever explored this unique region. What we learn from these final orbits will help to improve our understanding of how giant planets – and planetary systems everywhere – form and evolve.

“After losing contact with Earth, the spacecraft will burn up like a meteor, becoming part of the planet itself.”

NASA Cassini probe to be BLOWN UP to ‘protect Saturn’s moon aliens’ Latest News

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NASA Cassini probe to be BLOWN UP to 'protect Saturn's moon aliens' Latest News

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