Nasa space­craft Cassini ka­put

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - WORLD -

Tampa – As­tronomers around the world yes­ter­day bid farewell to Nasa’s famed Cassini space­craft, which launched 20 years ago to cir­cle Saturn and trans­formed the way we think about life else­where in the so­lar sys­tem.

Cassini, an in­ter­na­tional project that cost $3.9 bil­lion (R51.43 bil­lion), has run out of rocket fuel af­ter a jour­ney of 7.9 bil­lion kilo­me­tres.

Its death plunge into the ringed gas giant – the fur­thest planet vis­i­ble from Earth with the naked eye – was well planned to pre­vent any dam­age to Saturn’s ocean-bear­ing moons.

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