The “Grand Finale”
of the Cassini Mission
13 June 2017
Discover the space mission that has revolutionised our understanding of Saturn, courtesy of one of its key participants.
Free entry with prior registration until full capacity of 250 people is reached. Maximum number of registrations per person: two.
The registration period will open on Tuesday 6 June, and registration may be carried out via either of these two methods:
a) By sending an email to [email protected], specifying “Cassini” in the subject field. All emails
received before the registration period opens will be disregarded. The email must include the given name and both surnames (if applicable) of the registering parties (maximum of two).
b) By telephone, on +34 91 467 34 61 from 9am onwards
Dr. Earl Maize. Manager de la Misión Cassini
Dr. Scott G. Edgington. Científico Adjunto de la Misión Cassini
Dra. Jo Eliza Pitesky. Ingeniera de la Misión Cassini
The discoveries made during the Cassini Mission have revolutionised our understanding of Saturn, with its complex rings, astounding array of moons and dynamic magnetic environment. The Cassini probe was launched into space on 15 October 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004, after seven years’ flight from Earth. A space probe called Huygens was launched along with Cassini for the purpose of landing it by parachute on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, whose surface had never been seen before. Cassini has made some extraordinary scientific discoveries. The surprises that have been found include the hydrothermal activity that occurs inside the small, frozen moon Enceladus, as well as the liquid methane lakes on Titan. Since April 2017 Cassini has been travelling in previously unexplored territory, crossing Saturn’s innermost rings and uppermost atmosphere several times in the last few months of the mission.
The Cassini Mission is now writing the extraordinary final chapter of its history: its Grand Finale. On 15 September it will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere, at which time the probe will transmit invaluable scientific data before burning up in the upper layers of Saturn’s atmosphere. Before that happens, the Cassini probe is studying the area between the planet’s innermost rings and its atmosphere. What questions will Cassini lay to rest before it plunges into Saturn’s atmosphere?
During this lecture we will hear the story of Cassini’s recent scientific discoveries and of the events that are still to come, during its final orbits. The crucial Cassini Mission is a joint project between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI).