Thanks, Cassini for all your work. And catching our ‘wave’

Cassini, the robotic spacecraft that traveled for nineteen years (and some 948,149,234 miles), came to a sad end today, as it flew into Saturn. It’s demise was planned, however for good reasons.

It was one ambitious mission in 1997. A knowledge excursion to parts of our solar system that were previously beyond our reach. Through Cassini, we learned about and discovered more of Saturn’s moons, we got to see the make up of its spectacular rings, and learned that the gas planet does have its own hurricanes. It carried a probe, which it landed on one of Saturns’ moons using a parachute. It beamed back data through NASA’s Deep Space Network, and as you’d expect from any celebrity now, Cassini had its own Twitter handle, @CassiniSaturn.

Cassini’s full name is Cassini–Huygens, being born of a project collaboration between three space agencies from the US, Italy, and Europe.

Cassini was used for interesting aerial photo-op. It took place on July 19, 2013. The folks who programmed Cassini turned the spacecraft back toward Earth to take a picture of earthlings waving at it. The images were then beamed back and stitched together in a huge mosaic of the Saturn system, itself! More about that event, here.