Cassini’s death has shocked the whole world. There are numerous spacecraft floating in the space but why Cassini is generating so much buzz in the media?
Cassini was the first spacecraft to orbit the Saturn. This spacecraft has sent many stunning pictures and information to NASA, from the year 2004. But the question is what on earth happened that NASA allowed Cassini to crash on Saturn? NASA associates confirmed that Cassini was running out of fuel. And they crashed it on Saturn because they didn’t want to harm any of Saturn’s moons or rings by the spacecraft. Cassini lost its radio transmission at 7:55 am ET and also lost the contact with its home base which couldn’t be restored.
NASA tweeted, “Earth received Cassini’s final signal at 7:55 am ET. Cassini is now a part of the planet it studied. Thanks for the science.” Many have claimed that Cassini died just over 1hr. and 20 minutes before this incident even took place and when it entered into Saturn’s Atmosphere it melted, most probably exploded. NASA’s JPL thermal engineer explained how it happened. He said, “The outer surface materials might start to char it first; then you’d see some breaking part; then when you get down to the metal, once it gets hot enough, it will glow,” here comes another question, there is no oxygen on Saturn then how can it burn? This makes no sense!
He also explained this well, “The propellant tanks will explode eventually as the temperature gets high enough”. Cassini made 22 orbits around the across Saturn and its rings for past many months before dying. NASA official gave us more information saying, “The spacecraft burned in the air of Saturn’s sky at 9.4 degrees north latitude and 53 degrees west longitude.” The white circle on Saturn’s terrain is the place where Cassini crashed.
Cassini was really an extraordinary spacecraft which had accomplished great things. Let’s take a look at Cassini’s few discoveries in one word:
When Cassini was flying over Titan in 2013, it suddenly found something. What was discovered is an ingredient of plastic called Polypropylene. Which has a great deal on Earth; we use it everywhere from the car’s bumpers to the plastic containers. It also discovered plum of liquid water on Enceladus, which is another moon of Saturn.
It saw the plum water is spewing into space, it was happening because Enceladus’s icy surface has cracks. Cassini also gave the proofs that Enceladus has oceans of liquid water which is under 19 to 25 miles (30 to 40 kilometers) thick ice while discovering these, it discovered another thing which is incredible, that is the plums have Hydrogen! So the scientists took it as a hint that there could be Hydrothermal Vents in the oceans of Enceladus.
Cassini’s end couldn’t stop it from making headlines as it has provided some groundbreaking leads which could change our understandings of the outer space forever. Cassini has also proved that life beyond Earth can also subsist on the other planets or moons.