At 4:55 am PST, Cassini sent its final message before plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere, breaking up, and falling to Saturn’s surface. During its twenty-year-long mission, Cassini helped scientists gain significant insight on Saturn.
After the two Voyager spacecraft flew past Saturn in 1982, scientists from around the globe planned what we now call Cassini. Following take off in 1997, Cassini arrived at Saturn 7 years later, ready to conduct research on the planet and its moons. During its lifetime, the spacecraft completed 127 flybys of Titan, 23 flybys of Enceladus, and 15 flybys of Saturn’s icy satellites. These targeted missions have helped reveal the possibilities of life on Titan and Enceladus.