Hannah Hurst, Staff Writer
With a mission called “The Grand Finale” on September 15, 2017, NASA sent its space probe Cassini crashing into Saturn’s orbit…on purpose. Cassini had used almost all of its fuel supply and with no place left to go, scientists decided the best course of action was to blow it up. Under normal circumstances, NASA would have just left the billion dollar probe on a nearby moon, but since scientist know so little about Saturn's moons, they wanted to be extra careful in preserving the moons' natural state for future studies.
NASA joined forces with ESA (the European Space Agency) originally sending Cassini shooting into space at 1,006 miles per hour with hopes of landing it on Saturn’s moon Titan in 1977. Cassini completed its mission and moved on to later become the first and only probe sent by NASA to successfully orbit Saturn. Since then, its been sending data from Saturn back to Earth, almost 746 million miles away.
In loving memory of Cassini, enjoy these top 10 photographs taken during its 20-year long journey. All photographs courtesy of NASA.