Nearly 20 years ago, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft left Earth and began a seven-year journey across the solar system. Its destination? Ringed Saturn and its many, many moons. After more than a decade exploring the system, Cassini will plunge to its doom in the planet’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017. National Geographic has taken a look at Cassini’s voyage and its greatest achievements through this comprehensive interactive.
The probe’s final scientific mission will be to destroy itself by plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere. Cassini will begin its collision course with Saturn on September 11 and will take it’s final picture on September 14, before plunging through Saturn’s cloud tops on September 15.
Check out National Geographic’s Cassini explainer HERE.
Explore Cassini’s 13 years of missions HERE.
Space expert Nadia Drake is available for interviews out of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, reporting from the scene.
Science and astronomy expert Victoria Jaggard is available for interviews out of Washington, D.C.