‘Death Dive to Saturn’ celebrates the Cassini probe’s accomplishments | Science News

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‘Death Dive to Saturn’ celebrates the Cassini probe’s accomplishments

Documentary gives spacecraft a proper send-off before its lethal leap

By
8:00am, August 27, 2017
Cassini spacecraft

TAKING THE PLUNGE  As its mission around Saturn comes to an end, the Cassini spacecraft (illustrated) is the focus of a new documentary.

For over 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft has orbited Saturn, beaming back dazzling images from the ringed planet and its diverse moons. On September 15, the mission will go out in style by dive-bombing the planet. In “Death Dive to Saturn,” the TV series NOVA looks back at Cassini’s successes and takes us behind the scenes for the spacecraft’s final months.

Featuring interviews with scientists, footage from mission control and a cornucopia of space pictures, the NOVA special tells Cassini’s story, from its launch in 1997 to its impending demise. The documentary reviews what scientists have learned and what mysteries they hope to crack as the mission ends.

Cassini commenced its end game in late April, a series of orbits nicknamed the Grand Finale. Repeatedly passing between the planet and its rings,

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