It’s been almost 20 years since the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in Florida on October 15, 1997. And today happens to be the last day in the life of the illustrious spacecraft about which we hear a lot about while growing up.
NASA has announced that the Cassini has run out of fuel and as its final mission, it’s going to dive into Saturn’s atmosphere. But all the time during its fall, it’s going to keep sending us information until it is burnt away.
The spacecraft was a joint effort on the part of NASA, the European Space Agency, or ESA, and the Italian Space Agency to explore the planet Saturn and its moons.
Its payload was the ESA’s Huygens probe, which it later deployed on Titan to study its surface and atmosphere. The Cassini carried out a six-month-long swing-by of Jupiter to pick up speed for its journey to Saturn on December 30, 2000. It finally reached Saturn’s orbit on June 30, 2004.
Since then, the Cassini has been sending us information and stunning photos of the most beautiful planet in the solar system and its moons. On its final day, we take a look at the final photos sent by the spacecraft along with some of the most beautiful ones it has ever sent.
And these are some of the best ones it has sent over its life of almost 20 years: