Image: A monitor shows the status of NASA’s Deep Space Network as it receives data from the Cassini spacecraft, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 in the Charles Elachi Mission Control Center in the Space Flight Operation Center at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky.
Image: Cassini program manager at JPL, Earl Maize, center row, calls out the end of the Cassini mission. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky.
Image: Cassini program manager at JPL, Earl Maize, left, and spacecraft operations team manager for the Cassini mission at Saturn, Julie Webster embrace after the Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. At left is Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker. At right center is Jim Green, Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.
Image: Saturn’s active, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus sinks behind the giant planet in a farewell portrait from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. This view of Enceladus was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.
Image: This montage of images, made from data obtained by Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, shows the location on Saturn where the NASA spacecraft entered Saturn’s atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017. This view shows Saturn in the thermal infrared, at a wavelength of 5 microns. Here, the instrument is sensing heat coming from Saturn’s interior, in red. Clouds in the atmosphere are silhouetted against that inner glow. This location — the site of Cassini’s atmospheric entry — was at this time on the night side of the planet, but would rotate into daylight by the time Cassini made its final dive into Saturn’s upper atmosphere, ending its remarkable 13-year exploration of Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.
“Things never will be quite the same for those of us on the Cassini team now that the spacecraft is no longer flying,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at JPL. “But, we take comfort knowing that every time we look up at Saturn in the night sky, part of Cassini will be there, too.”