The US Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacecraft Cassini will end a 13-year mission and dive into Saturn in September.
“Cassini’s mission has been a great success and beyond imagination it will be completed in about two weeks,” said Curt Niebur, scientist in charge of the ship.
The last information transmitted by Cassini will be the image of a vacuum on the Saturn belt. The more than $ 3 billion NASA spacecraft will lose contact with Earth and at 11:54 a.m. (GMT) on September 15.
Along the way, it will collect final data to answer important questions about Saturn’s interior, mysterious storms, harsh atmosphere, the age of the rings, and the length of a day.
Recent data from Cassini have brought many surprising discoveries to scientists, helping them conclude that Saturn’s light belt formed after the solar system.
The Cassini unmanned probe, the result of cooperation between US aviation agencies and Italy, was launched on October 15, 1997 and reached Saturn’s orbit in 2004, after making the trip. Venus and Jupiter.
Since then, Cassini has flown around Saturn to photograph its surface, helping astronomers better understand the planet’s atmosphere, magnetosphere and icy satellites.
Realizing that the ship’s fuel was about to run out, NASA decided to let it “drop” on Saturn in order to avoid collisions with the satellites of Titan and Enceladus, which hid alien life. .