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Cassini End of Mission Briefing, Apr 2017, JPL

NASA will hold a news conference on April 4, 2017 at 3:00 pm ET (12:00 pm local time) at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA to preview the beginning of the end-of-life of the Cassini mission.

Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since June 2004 and has all but  exhausted its propellant.  To ensure that it does not crash on any of Saturn’s moons (like Titan or Enceladus) where scientists believe the conditions for life may exist, the spacecraft will be commanded to plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017, a maneuver that will destroy it.

Between now and then, “the spacecraft will make 22 weekly dives through the unexplored gap between the planet and its rings.”  The first will take place on April 26.

The news conference will preview this last phase of Cassini’s operations.  Participants are:

  • Jim Green, Director, NASA Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters
  • Earl Maize, Cassini project manager, JPL
  • Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, JPL
  • Joan Stupik, Cassini guidance and control engineer, JPL

The news conference  will be broadcast on NASA TV and the video, chart and other information will be available at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/grandfinale


April 4, 2017
12:00 am