Popular Science

Eulogy for Cassini

Farewell to a faithful explorer.
Saturn

An artist's interpretation of Cassini diving towards Saturn.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

We thought we knew what it looked like, the planet with the broad, striped belt. We scribbled it onto construction paper with crayons and magic markers; built models of it out of styrofoam balls and cheap paint in primary colors. It was our favorite, instantly distinct and distinguished from all the other plain, unadorned worlds.

Then a series of

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