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13-Year Saturn Mission, Cassini, Ends This Week

Cassini, NASA’s 13-year mission to explore Saturn, will end Friday when the spacecraft purposefully dives into the planet’s atmosphere and destroys itself. But first, Cassini will send back new data about the planet’s composition. “You can think of Cassini as the first Saturn probe,” said Linda Spilker, a project scientist on the mission. In the end, Cassini will burn up in a blaze and completely disintegrate.