Saturn mission is over
SATURN probe Cassini’s 20-year mission ended yesterday as it plunged at 77,000mph and burned up in the planet’s atmosphere.
Nasa scientists planned the spectacular suicide dive to end the £2.9billion mission, which delivered a treasure trove of discoveries.
At 12.55pm UK time, radio contact with the 22ft nuclear-powered probe was lost as Cassini tumbled to its doom 930 miles above Saturn’s cloud tops.
Mission controllers at Nasa’s lab in Pasadena, California, clapped and hugged each other when the signal loss was confirmed.
Project boss Earl Maize said: “Congratulations to you all. This has been an incredible mission ... you’re an incredible team.”
The decision to kill off Cassini was taken because the craft would soon run out of fuel and become impossible to steer.
WATCHING Nasa workers