Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cassini Gets a Second Life

No I don't mean that crapfest that is Sadlife (Second Life). I am talking about the remarkable mission to Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft. The bods at NASA have decided to extend the mission for a further two years, which means that there will be at least 60 more orbits. This means more chances to study the Planet itself, the Saturnian rings and also the moons Titan and Enceladus. This is another major bonus for NASA after the success of the two rovers currently exploring the Martian landscape more than 3 years after they were supposed too have gone belly up.

Not only has Cassini sent back some incredible new pictures of the rings and the Planet itself but but the bus sized spacecraft has also detected three new moons Methone, Pallene and Polydeuces. Cassini's biggest triumph to date would have to be the Huygens probe which landed on the surface of Titan. The first man made object to land on another planets moon. More importantly is the possible discovery of liquid on the surface of Titan. As yet is is not fully understood what the liquid is but scientist speculate that it is some kind of hydrocarbon 'sea'. It is good to see that NASA and the US government is extending the missions of these incredibly successful missions and letting scientists study and learn more about the Solar System that we live in.

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