Google Doodle Celebrates Cassini Spacecraft’s ‘Grand Finale’ Mission


New Delhi: As NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft enters its final dive, called ‘The Grand Finale’, into orbiting Saturn’s moon, Titan, Google commemorates the occasion by making a special Doodle. It shows an animated Cassini eagerly snapping pictures of Saturn as it passes through the gigantic planet’s rings.

Google Doodle celebrates the journey of the nearly 20-year-old spacecraft that has stayed in the space for 13 long years and is now beginning the last leg of its exploration journey. It reached Saturn’s orbit in July 2004 and has been studying the planet and its moons ever since.

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Diving between Saturn’s rings will start on April 26 and the little spaceship will be taking pictures of whatever it can as it passes through the giant sheets of icy debris, reports The Mirror. The April 26 dive is the first of 22 planned manoeuvres before it begins the very last part of its mission. “No spacecraft has ever gone through the unique region that we’ll attempt to boldly cross 22 times,’ said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“What we learn from Cassini’s daring final orbits will further our understanding of how giant planets, and planetary systems everywhere, form and evolve.

“This is a true discovery in action to the very end.” Cassini’s mission will officially terminate on September 15, after a planned plummet through Saturn’s atmosphere.

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