Popular Science

The Cassini spacecraft will plunge into Saturn and pull our heartstrings with it

Requiem for a machine.

An artist's impression of Cassini during one of its final dives between Saturn and its rings.


In the early hours of Friday, September 15, our planet will lose the Cassini spacecraft's signal just before it disintegrates in Saturn’s atmosphere. That radio silence will mark the end of 13 years of exploration—and nearly 30 years of work. Though the moment Cassini will perish is still days away, tears are already flowing, as emotional tributes to our window to another world fill timelines on social media.

Yes, there are some people, but many people who love space are the loss of this hunk of human inginuity, metal, and plutonium.

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