cassini

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by timojin, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Why people get so emotional about plunging the machine into Saturn
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    They don't. It's just journalists trying to whip up emotions, as they usually do.
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Some of us love our probes. Cassini was a spectacularly successful mission; I am, indeed, greatly saddened that it has ended. My understanding about the prospect of life elsewhere in this Universe, and the expectation that we will find it in our neighborhood is a powerful hope kindled directly by the Cassini probe.

    Americans are familiar with various budget-period superstitions, most of which have real kernels of truth. Driving department vehicles in order to ensure the fuel budget doesn't shrink, and stuff like that, really does happen. I mention this because NASA, a popular idol for stoning in Congress and diverse White House administrations, is also one of the archetypal examples of what happens when a public agency does its job.

    By contrast, some in Congress, not so long ago, argued that NASA should not be focusing on the Earth. It's an interesting prospect, but in this moment only serves to reinforce a particular arrangement of elements: Cassini did much to increase my comprehension of life on other planets, while many would rather use rockets in such a killing manner that we might wonder what we learn about life on this one.

    Yes, there are people who love their astronomical probes. Sure, metal boxes tumbling through nowhere are not so charming as a perpetually malfunctioning R2 unit, but we want to keep hearing the Voyagers for the rest of our lives so that we don't have to mourn them.

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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Sentimentality.

    Cassini was launched 20 years ago. Its mission to Saturn and its moons has produced a mountain of new knowledge about that system. So, the scientists controlling and tending to the probe are understandably sad to see its mission end.

    Have you never felt nostalgia about some object you own coming to end of its useful life? Is this really a mystery to you?
     
  8. Bells Staff Member

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    Because it was the end of a journey and an amazing era when it comes to Saturn.

    What Cassini's team achieved was nothing short of spectacular. From the moment the Voyager probes flew by and took those photos and then the detail and knowledge that Cassini gave the world.. It would have been astonishingly emotional for those involved.

    There is a documentary called The Farthest. And the film is about the scientists involved in the Voyager probes. From the design, building them, launching them into space and the decades that came after it and the data collected. These people literally weep when they discuss their involvement in the hole process. Those who were present when the probes were being prepped for launch, when they were encased for launch, describe how they cried then and continue to cry now remembering it, because it would be the last time they were going to see it. That what they created was about to be launched into space. And how they are still so attached and emotional and cry about the day they know is coming, when they stop receiving that signal.

    The people involved with the Cassini mission would be exactly the same. This was their baby. Their child that for many of them, devoted over 20 years of their life to. Of course they are going to cry and be emotional about it. Cassini has been a part of their day to day lives for 20 + years. Now it is gone. Never to return. It's been a part of our lives for that long too.

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    I can tell you now. I'm pretty sad and emotional about it myself.. What Cassini gave us was amazing and beautiful.
     
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  9. sweetpea Registered Senior Member

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    I must say I have a soft spot for the Voyager probes. They have been travelling for 40 years this year, that's longer than I been around. Throughout my life, every now and again on hearing the signals are still being received, I think, wow their still ticking. Transmitting at 22 Watts.


    This Nasa page tells you how far they are Now. Really worth a check out.
    https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status/
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  10. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    For them is more than nostalgia, the funding is over , and probable it was over several years ago , and the information produced was available long time ago also . the only new information was the ditching the apparatus .
     
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    timojin:

    No. You're wrong. Cassini has delivered new information regularly throughout its mission.
     
  12. river

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    Why do say , " the information produced was available long time ago " ?
     
  13. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Let's say I am wrong so why plunge into the surface at high speed ? don't we information on crash ?
    I would believe there are not many expenses to attend voyager after 40 year out of the solar system .
    So they could keep running cassini, so probably the fund runn out , so they ditched it.
     
  14. river

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    Fuel , apparantly .
     
  15. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    That is fine . I would like to se it crash on it's own , unless there would be some to learn by crashing it.
     
  16. river

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    Actually Cassini didn't crash into Saturn , it burned up .
     
  17. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Did it burn do to high velocity and high atmospheric pressure ?
     
  18. river

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    It disintegrated through velocity and atmosphere density .
     
  19. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Yo mean shut of the engine and go free fall ?
     
  20. river

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    Yes

    To NASA , Cassini was running low on fuel .
     
  21. Bells Staff Member

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    Actually it was running low on fuel and they would not be able to correct its course at a given point in the future.

    Its mission was extended twice. It wasn't so much the funding as fuel that saw NASA have to end the Cassini mission.

    Why do you say that? Cassini has provided enough information that will be studied for decades.

    How do you figure that?

    Did we know what was coming out of Enceladus before Cassini flew through its plumes and analysed it? Did we know that Enceladus had an ocean 'a long time ago'? Did we know what was under Titan's foggy atmosphere before Cassini? Did we know about the chemical components of its atmosphere before Cassini? Did we know that it was the ice and particles from Enceladus' plumes that made up the outer most rings of Saturn? Did we know and understand the complexities of Saturn's rights before Cassini? Did we understand the storms of Saturn and its electro-magnetic field, the auroras that were only recently discovered, its magnificent poles, how Saturn interacts with its many moons, the tantalising possibility that its moons may be the best bet at finding life in our solar system? And that's just a small amount of what we discovered..

    But your comment is interesting. Are you able to detail how that information that Cassini produced was available a long time ago and where this information can be found?

    It was plunged at high speed so it burnt up to ensure that it did not crash into one of Saturn's moons, thereby contaminating it.

    The Voyager missions were nothing like Cassini's mission.

    It was running low on fuel that is used to correct its orbit. That is why they had to end the mission.

    There are too many risks if it just 'crashes on its own'.

    By burning it up in Saturn's upper atmosphere, they not only ensure they do not risk contaminating Saturn's moons which may contain the compounds necessary for life or even possibly life itself, but they were also able to get data from Saturn's upper atmosphere and Saturn itself before Cassini burnt up.
     
  22. Janus58 Valued Senior Member

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    Letting it "crash on it's own" was problematic. As already mentioned, it could have contaminated one of the moons. Also, there was no guarantee that the craft would be still operational by the time it did. By doing it now, we were sure that we could gather as much info on the way in as we could. In addition, knowing that they were going to crash the probe allowed them to take a final risk with it. They first put into an orbit that caused it to pass several times through the gap between Saturn and its rings, a region that had not been closely examined before. (They could not be sure just how clear that region was and how high the chance of a probe crippling collision was.)
     
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  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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