back to article Farewell Cassini! NASA's Saturnian spacecraft waves goodbye for its Grand Finale

Cassini, one of NASA’s flagship spacecraft, is poised to meet its fiery end today as it plunges down into Saturn’s atmosphere at a speed of 123,000kph (77,000mph) per hour, where it will soon vaporise. The shuttle was to point its antennas in the direction of Earth as it sent its final message at 03:32 PDT (10:32 UTC), …

  1. jake Silver badge

    Burn, baby, burn.

    Gone, but never forgotten.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      So long...

      ...and thanks for all the pix!

  2. Redstone
    Pint

    It would all mean so much more...

    ...if they could get Morgan Freeman to narrate the death dive.

    Farewell Cassini. May your data live forever!

  3. Christoph Silver badge

    But before it died did it have time to send back the images of C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate?

  4. hplasm Silver badge
    Facepalm

    FTA: "The shuttle was to point its antennas..."

    There is no F in Shuttle!!!!

    It's a frigging probe.

    CBBC article? Come on Reg!

    1. AdamT

      Re: FTA: "The shuttle was to point its antennas..."

      Well, it did carry (or "shuttle", if you like) another probe all the way there too...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FTA: "The shuttle was to point its antennas..."

        Doesn't a shuttle have to make at least one complete round trip?

  5. wolfetone Silver badge
    Pint

    "Cassini was born to die."

    Aren't we all?

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Pint

      I'm going to live forever, or die trying.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Yup, personally I plan to live forever.

        So far, so good...

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        "I'm going to live forever, or die trying."

        Alright Kurgan you made your point in the Highlander films.

        1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
          Coat

          I think Vila Restal got there first.....

          I plan to live forever, or die trying."

          or

          Vila: Die? I can't do that!

          Avon: I'm afraid you can. It's the one talent we all share, even you.

          Icon simply due to "........Because other peoples property comes naturally to me!".

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      '"Cassini was born to die."

      Aren't we all?'

      Currently human mortality only stands at around 96-97% so fingers crossed...

  6. 0laf Silver badge
    Pint

    Farewell

    Genuinely a little sad to see the end of this mission. But it does feel like the big fellah has been out there for a long time just getting on with it's job and going well above and beyond it's design.

    It's a shame there will be no picture or video feed of it's decent into the clouds but that probably a bit more majestic in the mind than in reality.

    Another commentard made mention of deep space probes being one of modern humanity's rare noble ventures and I think that's a very good way to put it. There really is very little be negative about with these missions.

    So farewell fine machine and I hope the engineers, scientists and all involved stand tall after a job exceptionally well done.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Clearly not bad news

    although the final bits of Cassini's signal will not reach Earth until nearly an hour and a half later, due to the travel time for its radio signal.

    Underlining the statement "the science isn't going to stop" at the end of the article is the mention of the speed of the data. Had it been bad news we would have known immediately.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was a good day to die after-all ... A glorious death.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a close-up of the rings

    That's not a close-up of the rings, it has to be a shot of the South Pole

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: the South Pole

      ... and not the north pole, because that's where the Allen keys fit.

    2. Nessalc

      Re: Not a close-up of the rings

      This is a close up of the North pole, in fact, taken 2017-04-26T07:49Z (https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/raw_images/412654/)

      1. Paul Kinsler

        Re: This is a close up of the North pole, in fact,

        ah, zoomed in inside the hexagon, then.

  11. Unep Eurobats
    Headmaster

    [T]he Solar System’s most ... unique-looking planet

    And after all that time and money, are they at last able to tell us how unique-looking it is?

  12. Blitheringeejit
    WTF?

    "Jupiter’s moon Titan"

    Errr - wot? Subs been at the liquid lunch again?

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: "Jupiter’s moon Titan"

      See, a new discovery already!

      Either that or they were a bit careless in aiming the death-dive ;-p

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Happy

        CONNECT TITAN

        Kingston Polytechnic had at one time DEC VAX/VMS machines named...

        TITAN, GANYMEDE and possibly one other called EUROPA

        Titan was a 8600, and the others were 11/780s

        DCL rocks!

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: CONNECT TITAN

          That'd be GANYMD, as VMS hostnames can be 6 characters long at most. Or GANYMEDE was the LAT service name, not the hostname.

          #include "cobwebs.ico"

    2. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: "Jupiter’s moon Titan"

      I hope they didn't mean Europa:

      "ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS, EXCEPT EUROPA.ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE."

  13. steviebuk Silver badge

    Who or what....

    ....is taking the pictures/videos of Cassini? Is there something else up there taking those shots?

    I'll get my coat.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Who or what....

      @steviebuk

      ....is taking the pictures/videos of Cassini? Is there something else up there taking those shots?

      probably the same thing which took those shots of the moon landings

  14. David Nash Silver badge

    it’s not the end of the mission?

    Hmm, I heard the controller announce live on Nasa TV "end of mission".

    We know what you mean though. There's a fabulous legacy of science and more data to work with.

  15. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    WEEE directive

    Are we allowed to dispose of obsolete 90s equipement by crashing it into a planet?

    I have some dead HP printers that I would be happy to donate.

    The planet in question may have to be a little closer to home

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: WEEE directive

      I have five L3000's to add to the stack.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WEEE directive

      At a previous workplace a remote access (modem) server had to be disposed on (~2010) after damage sustained after being dropped out of the rack. And bouncing along the corridor, up the stairs and out of an open window.

      3 times.

      They don't build them like they used to!

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: WEEE directive

      Hmm... two printers, five PC's and manager for this mission. Note: The manager is payload, not launch team.

  16. Scott Broukell

    To be known henceforth as the Crashini Probe?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Journalistic bias

    All about Cassini and nothing about the fate and status of Huygens which provided more dramatic pictures.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Journalistic bias

      In addition NASA's flagship was a collaboration with ESA and the Italian Space Agency.

    2. John Gamble
      Boffin

      Re: Journalistic bias

      Um. Huygens finished its mission twelve years ago.

  18. P.B. Lecavalier

    Solid Proof

    If it dies, then we can deduce there is something hard enough in Saturn. It if does not die, it comes out at the other end, and we are very puzzled (or just blown back by the wind?). Would need to send additional vehicle to probe that!

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: we can deduce there is something hard enough in Saturn

      at its speed of atmospheric entry, I think it would just burn up regardless.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Message received from Saturn...

    The following message was just received from Saturn.

    "PLUTONIUM? YOU SOCK CUTTERS JUST DUMPED 100001B OF YOUR SO-CALLED //KILOGRAMS\\ OF PLUTONIUM ISOTOPE NUMBER 11101110B INTO OUR DAMN ATMOSPHERE!?? YOU PIGS! WE ARE PREPARING OUR WAR ARMADA OF BATTLE CRUISERS - AND WE ARE COMING TO EARTH TO DEAL OUT PAINFUL VENGEANCE - WE WILL SURGICALLY DESTROY ONE OF YOUR CITIES TO EXTRACT OUR REVENGE - PERHAPS THE ONE YOU CALL //PYONGYANG\\ - WE WILL BE THERE IN THREE OF YOUR EARTH WEEKS"

  20. Captain Boing

    Crappy article. Littered with typos and inaccuracies... "shuttle" "places place", "Jupiter's moon Titan"...

    Does no-one proof-read their work anymore?

    must have be a work experience kid's homework

    4/10 see me

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