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Cassini mission ends with a plunge into Saturn's atmosphere
Posted: Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 9:06 AM ET (1306 GMT)
Cassini spacecraft entering Saturn (NASA/JPL-Caltech) NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn ended Friday as the spacecraft plunged into the atmosphere of Saturn. Spacecraft controllers received the last signals from the spacecraft at 7:55 am EDT (1155 GMT) as expected, as the spacecraft entered the planet's atmosphere and disintegrated. NASA ended the mission in this manner in order to prevent a possible future collision of the spacecraft with the potentially habitable moons Enceladus and Titan. Cassini, launched in 1997, had been in orbit around Saturn since mid-2004, studying the planet, its rings, and its moons. It also deployed the ESA-developed Huygens probe to Titan shortly after arriving at the planet.
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