Marking an end to its 13-year-old remarkable tour of Saturn, NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its significant death dive into the atmosphere of the ringed planet on September 15.
With its demise, the spacecraft has left behind some incredible discoveries and offered a never-seen-before look into the gas giant. The confirmation of Cassini’s death came around 7:55 AM EDT when the radio signals from the spacecraft went flat and the probe fell silent.
"It's a bittersweet, but fond, farewell to a mission that leaves behind an incredible wealth of discoveries that have changed our view of Saturn and our solar system, and will continue to shape future missions and research", said Michael Watkins, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, which manages the Cassini mission for the agency.
With data obtained by Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, that shows the location where the spacecraft entered Saturn's atmosphere before its self-destruction, NASA also delivered a montage of images.