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38 years after Pioneer 11, Cassini enters final 2 weeks of Saturnian mission

1 Sep 2017, 20:04 UTC
38 years after Pioneer 11, Cassini enters final 2 weeks of Saturnian mission NASA
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Exactly 38 years to the day after Pioneer 11 became the first spacecraft to encounter the planet Saturn, NASA’s flagship mission to the ringed planet, Cassini, is entering the final two weeks of its storied mission. Cassini’s final timeline will begin on 12 September with “the kiss goodbye” – a gravitational nudge from Titan – that will irrevocably alter Cassini’s trajectory, sending the probe on a course for a destructive breakup into Saturn’s atmosphere.

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