NASA Cassini Mission Prepares for “Grand Finale” on This Week @NASA – April 7, 2017

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NASA held a news conference April 4 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with participation from NASA headquarters, to preview the final phase of the Cassini spacecraft’s mission to Saturn. On April 26, Cassini will begin its “Grand Finale” – a series of deep dives between the planet and its rings. No other mission has ever explored this unique region that is so close to the planet. Cassini will make 22 orbits that swoop between the rings and the planet before ending its 20-year mission on Sept. 15, with a final plunge into Saturn. The mission team hopes to gain powerful insights into the planet’s internal structure and the origins of the rings, obtain the first-ever sampling of Saturn’s atmosphere and particles coming from the main rings, and capture the closest-ever views of Saturn’s clouds and inner rings. Also, Next Space Station Crew Travels to Launch Site, New Target Launch Date for Orbital ATK Mission to ISS, Lightfoot Visits Industry Partners, Human Exploration Rover Challenge, and John Glenn Interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

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