…Put A Ring On It

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

There’s no denying that the world can be a crazy place. Today I thought I’d take a break from all the craziness happening here on Earth, and head out into the solar system. So prepare to put on your science nerd hat as we head on over to Saturn.

Those paying attention to your cosmos news know that yesterday NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made its first dive between Saturn and the planet’s rings. That’s a relatively small gap of 1,500 miles. If that seems like an easy feat, consider the fact that Earth and Saturn are nearly 750 million miles apart…that makes maneuvering anything from that distance pretty impressive.

The Cassini spacecraft first set out on its mission in 1997, and has been observing Saturn and its moons since 2004. For those of you looking to add all that up, that means it took seven years to reach Saturn and Cassini has been operational for 20 years.

If that’s not mind-blowing enough for you, consider the fact that this September Cassini will set its final collision course with the planet it’s been observing for the last 13 years. It will continue to collect data as it burns up in Saturn’s atmosphere, and becomes a part of the planet it has helped us to learn so much about.

Yes, it’s a robot, but you have to admit that kind of demise is beautifully poignant.

More on the Story: NASA.gov

…just for fun:

Speaking of space…


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