Google on Wednesday released a doodle on unmanned NASA spacecraft, Cassini. Today, Cassini will start with it’s final mission – the spacecraft will dive in between the Saturn rings and will be clicking pictures while passing through them. The doodle released by Google showcases it clicking pictures of the sixth planet, Saturn. According to mirror.co.uk, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, was the first astronomer to notice the rings divisions around Saturn in 1675. Named after the astronomer, spacecraft Cassini was launched on October 15, 1997 and it reached Saturn’s orbit in July, 2004. The mission is scheduled to end on September 15, 2017. The spacecraft has so far spent over 12 years around Saturn.
“We’re approaching Saturn over the northern hemisphere in advance of first #GrandFinale dive through gap between the planet and its rings,” a post on Cassini Saturn’s official twitter handle reads.
Check out the tweet
— CassiniSaturn (@CassiniSaturn) April 26, 2017
There are some interesting facts regarding this NASA spacecraft.
The maximum speed clocked by Cassini was 44 kilometers per second relative to the Sun on June 25 in 1999, as per data released by NASA. The spacecraft had reached 30.7 kilometers per second during the Saturn Orbit Insertion maneuver on July 1, 2004, it says.
With respect to Earth, the maximum speed clocked by Cassini is 19.0 kilometers per second on August 18 in 1999. The spacecraft flew past the planet earth at an altitude of 1,171 kilometers. Notably, Saturn’s average orbital speed around the Sun is about 34,700 km per hour.
Since arriving at Saturn in July 2004, Cassini has been exploring the giant planet and its entourage of 62 known moons, including the enigmatic Titan, believed by scientists to resemble an early Earth, and the ocean-bearing moon Enceladus, which is shooting ice particles out into space, as per Reuters reported.