Before its final crash into saturn, the nasa space probe "cassini" is to collect some spectacular data. In the remaining two and a half weeks it is to make among other things still recordings of the luminous saturn aurora, announced nasa on tuesday in pasadena.
Researchers also hope to obtain new information about the temperature and the vortices at the poles of the gas planet. The camera of the space probe is already on the 14. September, one day before the controlled crash, shut down. When "cassini" finally descends into the atmosphere, data on the composition of the saturn atmosphere will be transmitted to earth via radio waves – until contact is broken after a maximum of two minutes.
"The cassini mission was packed with scientific premieres. And our unique planetary observations will continue until the end of the mission, when cassini will become our first planetary probe, imaging saturn’s atmosphere until the last second," said linda spilker of the nasa jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena.
The probe began the last round of its spectacular dives through the saturn rings in april. She had made fascinating recordings of it. "Cassini" was launched in 1997 and arrived in the orbit of the planet in 2004. Among other things, they examined the moon enceladus and its ice shell in several flybys. Thousands of employees from 17 countries are involved in the multi-billion dollar mission.