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The $4 billion-dollar space probe Cassini has been deliberately crashed into the planet Saturn. It was crashed to ensure that it didn't one day crash into one of its moons and introduce earth microbes into environments that could be life-supporting. It was nearly out of fuel and would have become uncontrollable.

Cassini was an amazing machine, lasting twice as long as originally planned and providing stellar performance and much new information through twenty years and three missions when it was designed for eleven years and one mission. It just kept on working so NASA kept finding new things for it to do. A public servant extraodinaire.

Link below has images including its final one and the link's parent offers much more information about a great success in space exploration.

Cassini: The Grand Finale: Images
 

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Not to be a stickler, but I believe the intended outcome was not to crash it INTO Saturn (where microbes might unintentionally proliferate), but rather to hurtle it towards Saturn in order to burn up during entry. As visitors to that planet, we wanted to be good houseguests and not leave any mess behind.

Perhaps you heard the same interview on Quirks and Quarks that I did, with the space researcher. Apparently we learned that, among many other things, within the rings are a great many sort of mini-planets.

But yeah, I'm with you in saluting the mission. It's not wrong to miss a piece of machinery, or treat it like a trusted coworker.
 

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Amazing, the technology and math used with Cassini. Launched almost 20 years ago. Operating on half the power of the hair dryer. Final signal lost only few seconds later than predicted.
 

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Apparently an abandoned constructed object that was first thought to be a moon. It is several thousand years old and seems to have collected a number of several impact craters over time on the surface of the structure, except the largest one which is part of the object. Curious.

 

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I'm glad someone made this thread. I will have to look up the pictures.
 

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Apparently an abandoned constructed object that was first thought to be a moon. It is several thousand years old and seems to have collected a number of several impact craters over time on the surface of the structure, except the largest one which is part of the object. Curious.

Hmmm. Looks like it might be from a galaxy far, far away....
 

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