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prep for cassini's grand finale with science channel tonight


as the cassini probe at saturn prepares for its "grand finale" dive into the planet's atmosphere on sept. 15, science channel is airing a new episode of "the planets" that looks back on what we've learned about the ringed planet during the probe's 13-year stay. the new episode airs tonight (sept. 12) at 10 p.m. edt/pdt, and is hosted by retired nasa astronaut mike massimino. on sept. 15, at 7:50 a.m. edt, science channel will go live to broadcast the probe's final moments. and then, on sept. 19 at 9 p.m. edt/pdt, a new episode of "space's deepest secrets" will delve into the history of the mission, look back on its greatest discoveries and analyze the probe's final views as it made the plunge. [cassini's saturn crash 2017: how to watch its 'grand finale'] in a clip from tonight's episode,






cassini's saturn crash 2017 – how to watch its 'grand finale'


the cassini spacecraft is set to pull off its final mission after 20 years in space, collecting data as it crashes into saturn’s atmosphere. read all about cassini's "grand finale" and its sept. 15 suicide plunge.






cassini spacecraft's grand finale dives - risk vs. reward explained by nasa


by steve spaleta | april 26, 2017 07:46pm et the nasa probe has begun its series of 22 dives between saturn’s innermost rings and the planet itself. cassini guidance and control engineer joan stupik explains the risks of these daring orbits and what knowledge scientists hope to gain. cassini's grand finale is saving the best saturn science for last credit : space.com/nasa/jpl-caltech






cassini spacecraft's grand finale dives - risk vs. reward explained by nasa


by steve spaleta | april 26, 2017 07:46pm et the nasa probe has begun its series of 22 dives between saturn’s innermost rings and the planet itself. cassini guidance and control engineer joan stupik explains the risks of these daring orbits and what knowledge scientists hope to gain. [full story]cassini's grand finale is saving the best saturn science for last credit : space.com/nasa/jpl-caltech






epic cassini saturn mission begins 'grand finale' this month


pasadena, calif. — nasa's veteran cassini mission will officially kick off its farewell tour of the saturn system on april 22 with a final close encounter of the ringed planet's largest moon, titan. five months later, on sept. 15, cassini will spectacularly burn up in saturn's crushing atmosphere. but before that happens, cassini will dive through a 1,200-mile (1,930 kilometers) gap between the planet and its innermost ring to carry out science that is only possible now that the mission is running out of fuel. "what a spectacular end to a spectacular mission," jim green, director of nasa's planetary science division at the agency's headquarters in washington, d.c., said via video link at a special news conference held here today (april 4) at nasa's jet propulsion laboratory (jpl). [cassini






cassini's second grand finale dive might be outshining the first one


image: nasa/jpl-caltech/space science institutecassini’s six-month-long grand finale mission has become the unofficial nerd super bowl: each time the nasa-led spacecraft drops a new batch of raw images, we jump to our computers and frantically scroll through to find the best. (actually, we never leave our computers, because we are nerds.) but in any case, the raw photos from cassini’s second dive into the gap between saturn and its rings are now available—and honestly, they might even be better than the first round.advertisementon may 2nd, cassini performed the second part of its final act, diving into the eerie void between saturn and its rings at 3:38 pm edt. with 20 dives left before the spacecraft plunges itself into saturn’s atmosphere on september 15th, it’s hard to imagine anything






closest saturn pics yet snapped during daring cassini dive


by steve spaleta | april 27, 2017 10:29am et nasa’s cassini spacecraft’s ’grand finale’ has begun with the first of 22 planned dives between the saturn's innermost rings and the planet itself. the probe came within about 1900 miles (3000 km) of the planet's cloudtops and captured some amazing images.cassini spacecraft's grand finale dives - risk vs. reward explained by nasa - video credit : space.com / images and animation: nasa/jpl-caltech/space science institute / edited by @stevespaleta






closest saturn pics yet snapped during daring cassini dive


by steve spaleta | april 27, 2017 10:29am et nasa’s cassini spacecraft’s ’grand finale’ has begun with the first of 22 planned dives between the saturn's innermost rings and the planet itself. the probe came within about 1900 miles (3000 km) of the planet's cloudtops and captured some amazing images. [full story]cassini spacecraft's grand finale dives - risk vs. reward explained by nasa - video credit : space.com / images and animation: nasa/jpl-caltech/space science institute / edited by @stevespaleta






cassini restores contact after grand finale dive


this unprocessed nasa handout image released april 27, 2017, shows features in saturn’s atmosphere from closer than ever before, captured by nasa’s cassini spacecraft during its first grand finale dive past the planet on april 26, 2017. / (nasa/jpl-caltech/space institute) by marcia dunncape canaveral, fla. (ap) — nasa’s cassini spacecraft is back in contact with earth after its  venture into the never-before-explored region between saturn and its rings.the deep space network in california’s mojave desert acquired cassini’s signal at 11:56 pst on wednesday night, and data began flowing five minutes later, nasa said in a press release. the spacecraft is in the process of beaming back science and engineering data collected during its passage.hours earlier, cassini had become the first spacec






video: cassini's first grand finale dive over saturn: digital photography review


cassini's series of 'grand finale' dives by saturn continues to mesmerize us. in the above video, you'll first see a 'cassini-eye-view' of the surface of saturn whizzing by, starting with the swirling north pole of saturn. but it doesn't stop there, as nasa/jpl-caltech also shows you a three dimensional simulation of exactly where the probe is as it's capturing the images.the spacecraft's altitude dropped from 45,000 miles to 4,200 during this dive, and 'as this occurred, the smallest resolvable features in the atmosphere changed from 5.4 miles (8.7 kilometers) per pixel to 0.5 mile (810 meters) per pixel,' according to nasa.nasa even goes so far as to note that the camera settings were 'conservative' here, so we can expect some better results as the grand finale continues.via: http://www.






saturn looks haunted in cassini's first grand finale photos


image: nasa/jpl-caltech/space science institutegood morning, cassini! today, at about 3:00am edt, nasa’s deep space network goldstone complex in california’s acquired the orbiter’s signal for the first time since it began its series of grand finale dives. the photos it took from the space between saturn and its rings, which have just been released, are nothing short of breathtaking. it’s classic cassini, making the previously impossible look easy.advertisement“in the grandest tradition of exploration, nasa’s cassini spacecraft has once again blazed a trail, showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare,” jim green, director of the planetary science division at nasa headquarters in washington, said in a statement.unprocessed image of saturn’s atmosphere






cassini's grand finale is saving the best saturn science for last


as cassini wraps up its 13-year mission in saturn's system, scientists are preparing for the spacecraft's final burst of observations in the never-before-explored region between the planet and its inner rings. cassini crossed saturn's ring plane for the first time today (april 26). next, after a series of 22 orbits and close flybys of the rings, the robotic probe will take a death dive into the planet's atmosphere on sept. 15.  "we're going to have to say goodbye to this amazing mission," said athena coustenis, a cassini co-investigator at the paris observatory in france. [cassini's 'grand finale' saturn orbits explained (video)] "i have another five months to get very emotional about it," coustenis told reporters yesterday (april 25) during a news conference at the annual meeting of the e






watch live @ 3 pm et: nasa previews cassini's 'grand finale' at saturn


nasa scientists will meet the press today (april 4) at 3 p.m. edt (1900 gmt) in a news conference that will preview the beginning of the cassini spacecraft's "grand finale" at saturn. the mission's end stage begins in april.






watch live now! nasa previews cassini's 'grand finale' at saturn


nasa scientists will meet the press today (april 4) at 3 p.m. edt (1900 gmt) in a news conference that will preview the beginning of the cassini spacecraft's "grand finale" at saturn. the mission's end stage begins in april.






watch live now! nasa previews cassini's 'grand finale' at saturn


nasa scientists will meet the press today (april 4) at 3 p.m. edt (1900 gmt) in a news conference that will preview the beginning of the cassini spacecraft's "grand finale" at saturn. the mission's end stage begins in april. you can watch the press conference live in the window below, courtesy of nasa.from nasa:  "nasa will hold a news conference at noon pdt (3 p.m. edt) tuesday, april 4, at the agency's jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena, california, to preview the beginning of cassini's final mission segment, known as the grand finale, which begins in late april. the briefing will air live on nasa television and the agency's website. "cassini has been orbiting saturn since june 2004, studying the planet, its rings and its moons. a final close flyby of saturn's moon titan on april 22 w






titan flyby assures cassini's crash into saturn


there's no turning back now for the cassini probe at saturn.  in the early morning hours of april 22, the cassini spacecraft at saturn made one last close flyby of titan, capturing a few final images of this hazy moon. the flyby altered the spacecraft's orbit in such a way that cassini will be unable to avoid crashing into saturn this september. cassini has been studying saturn and its moons since 2004, and is running low on fuel. for its final act, cassini is scheduled to make 22 dives between saturn and its rings, starting april 26. the spacecraft will then dive into saturn on sept. 15, transmitting for as long as possible to provide information about the gas giant's atmosphere. "with this flyby [of titan], we're committed to the grand finale," said earl maize, cassini project manager at






titan flyby assures cassini's crash into saturn


there's no turning back now for the cassini probe at saturn.  in the early morning hours of april 22, the cassini spacecraft at saturn made one last close flyby of titan, capturing a few final images of this hazy moon. the flyby altered the spacecraft's orbit in such a way that cassini will be unable to avoid crashing into saturn this september. cassini has been studying saturn and its moons since 2004, and is running low on fuel. for its final act, cassini is scheduled to make 22 dives between saturn and its rings, starting april 26. the spacecraft will then dive into saturn on sept. 15, transmitting for as long as possible to provide information about the gas giant's atmosphere.an unprocessed image of saturn's moon titan, captured by nasa's cassini spacecraft during its final close flyby






last adventure ahead for nasa’s cassini spacecraft at saturn


cape canaveral, fla. (ap) — nasa’s cassini spacecraft faces one last perilous adventure around saturn.cassini swings past saturn’s mega moon titan early saturday for a gravity-assisted, orbit-tweaking nudge.“that last kiss goodbye,” as project manager earl maize calls it, will push cassini onto a path no spacecraft has gone before — into the gap between saturn and its rings. it’s treacherous territory. a particle from the rings — even as small as a speck of sand — could cripple cassini, given its velocity.cassini will make its first pass through the relatively narrow gap wednesday. twenty-two crossings are planned, about one a week, until september, when cassini goes in and never comes out, vaporizing in saturn’s atmosphere.most read stories3-course dinners for $32 starting april 2.launche






1 more titan flyby before 'grand finale' at saturn


nasa's cassini spacecraft will make its final close flyby of saturn's moon titan this weekend in preparation for the mission's "grand finale," when it dives down into the planet itself.  cassini will reach its closest approach of 608 miles (979 kilometers) above titan's surface on april 22 at 2:08 a.m. edt (0608 gmt), according to a statement from nasa. during the encounter, cassini's radar instrument will capture up-close observations of titan's methane lakes and seas, as well as the moon's "magic islands" — mysterious features that scientists say may be caused by streams of bubbles.  this weekend's titan flyby sets the stage for cassini's grand finale on sept. 15, when the spacecraft will intentionally dive into saturn's atmosphere and end it's 13-year-long mission. but before cassini ta






space webcasts: nasa previews cassini's grand finale at saturn


with just two weeks left before nasa's cassini spacecraft will execute its epic suicide plunge into saturn, nasa scientists are hosting a teleconference to talk about some of the spacecraft's final science objectives and operations.






listen live @ 2pm et: nasa previews cassini's grand finale at saturn


with just two weeks left before nasa's cassini spacecraft will execute its epic suicide plunge into saturn, nasa scientists are hosting a teleconference to talk about some of the spacecraft's final science objectives and operations.






1 more titan flyby before 'grand finale' at saturn


nasa's cassini spacecraft will make its final close flyby of saturn's moon titan this weekend in preparation for the mission's "grand finale," when it dives down into the planet itself.  cassini will reach its closest approach of 608 miles (979 kilometers) above titan's surface on april 22 at 2:08 a.m. edt (0608 gmt), according to a statement from nasa. during the encounter, cassini's radar instrument will capture up-close observations of titan's methane lakes and seas, as well as the moon's "magic islands" — mysterious features that scientists say may be caused by streams of bubbles.  this weekend's titan flyby sets the stage for cassini's grand finale on sept. 15, when the spacecraft will intentionally dive into saturn's atmosphere and end it's 13-year-long mission. but before cassini ta






nasa previews cassini's grand finale at saturn


(update for 3:17 pm et: nasa's cassini teleconference has ended. our wrap story will be posted shortly.) with just two weeks left before nasa's cassini spacecraft will execute its epic suicide plunge into saturn, nasa scientists are hosting a teleconference to talk about some of the spacecraft's final science objectives and operations. today's discussion begins at 2 p.m. edt (1800 gmt), and three nasa scientists will join to answer questions about cassini's grand finale:curt niebur, cassini program scientist, nasa headquarters, washington, d.c.earl maize, cassini project manager, nasa jet propulsion laboratory, pasadena, californialinda spilker, cassini project scientist, nasa jet propulsion laboratory, pasadena, california you can listen to the teleconference live via youtube in the windo






last adventure for cassini: nasa’s spacecraft will dive into treacherous territo


cape canaveral, fla. — nasa’s cassini spacecraft faces one last perilous adventure around saturn.cassini swings past saturn’s mega moon titan early saturday for a gravity-assisted, orbit-tweaking nudge.“that last kiss goodbye,” as project manager earl maize calls it, will push cassini onto a path no spacecraft has gone before — into the gap between saturn and its rings. it’s treacherous territory. a particle from the rings — even as small as a speck of sand — could cripple cassini, given its velocity.cassini will make its first pass through the relatively narrow gap wednesday. twenty-two crossings are planned, about one a week, until september, when cassini goes in and never comes out, vaporizing in saturn’s atmosphere.launched in 1997, cassini reached saturn in 2004 and has been exploring






nasa’s cassini saturn probe flies between saturn and its rings


cape canaveral, fla. --nasa’s cassini spacecraft faced one last perilous adventure around saturn.cassini flew past saturn’s mega moon titan early saturday for a gravity-assisted, orbit-tweaking nudge.“that last kiss goodbye,” as project manager earl maize called it, pushed cassini onto a path no spacecraft has gone before — into the gap between saturn and its rings.it’s treacherous territory. a particle from the rings — even as small as a speck of sand — could cripple cassini, given its velocity.cassini made its first pass through the relatively narrow gap early wednesday, nasa said.twenty-two crossings are planned, about one a week, until september, when cassini goes in and never comes out, vaporizing in saturn’s atmosphere.launched in 1997, cassini reached saturn in 2004 and has been exp






nasa’s cassini saturn probe flies between saturn and its rings


cape canaveral, fla. -- nasa’s cassini spacecraft faced one last perilous adventure around saturn.cassini flew past saturn’s mega moon titan early saturday for a gravity-assisted, orbit-tweaking nudge.“that last kiss goodbye,” as project manager earl maize called it, pushed cassini onto a path no spacecraft has gone before - into the gap between saturn and its rings.it’s treacherous territory. a particle from the rings - even as small as a speck of sand - could cripple cassini, given its velocity.cassini made its first pass through the relatively narrow gap early wednesday, nasa said.twenty-two crossings are planned, about one a week, until september, when cassini goes in and never comes out, vaporizing in saturn’s atmosphere.launched in 1997, cassini reached saturn in 2004 and has been ex






as cassini makes 1st 'grand finale' dive, more saturn mysteries remain


running low on fuel, nasa's cassini spacecraft has begun the final — and most daring — phase of its epic mission to saturn.  after using a final flyby of the moon titan on friday to boost its speed, cassini was flung by the moon's gravity to a trajectory that sent it diving through the 1,200-mile (1,930 kilometers) gap between the planet's upper atmosphere and innermost rings, nasa officials said. cassini completed the first crossing of the ring plane at about 2 a.m. pdt (5 a.m. edt, or 0900 gmt) wednesday, the space agency said in a statement. [cassini's "grand finale" at saturn in pictures]nasa's cassini spacecraft has just completed the first of 22 "ring dives" in between saturn and its large, icy rings, leading up to an epic final dive into the planet's atmosphere sept. 15.credit: nasa






cassini saturn probe survives 1st 'grand finale' dive


nasa's cassini spacecraft has survived its first plunge through the narrow gap between saturn's cloud tops and the giant planet's innermost rings, a region that no probe had ever explored before. the space agency's deep space network goldstone complex in california picked up cassini's signal at 11:56 p.m. pdt yesterday (april 26; 2:56 a.m. edt and 0656 gmt today, april 27) — nearly a full day after the historic dive took place. data began coming in from the probe 5 minutes after contact was established, nasa officials said. "in the grandest tradition of exploration, nasa's cassini spacecraft has once again blazed a trail, showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," jim green, director of nasa's planetary science division, in washington, d.c., said






cassini saturn probe survives 1st 'grand finale' dive


nasa's cassini spacecraft has survived its first plunge through the narrow gap between saturn's cloud tops and the giant planet's innermost rings, a region that no probe had ever explored before. the space agency's deep space network goldstone complex in california picked up cassini's signal at 11:56 p.m. pdt yesterday (april 26; 2:56 a.m. edt and 0656 gmt today, april 27) — nearly a full day after the historic dive took place. data began coming in from the probe 5 minutes after contact was established, nasa officials said. "in the grandest tradition of exploration, nasa's cassini spacecraft has once again blazed a trail, showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," jim green, director of the planetary science division at nasa headquarters in washin






cassini saturn probe survives 1st 'grand finale' dive


nasa's cassini spacecraft has survived its first plunge through the narrow gap between saturn's cloud tops and the giant planet's innermost rings, a region that no probe had ever explored before. the space agency's deep space network goldstone complex in california picked up cassini's signal at 11:56 p.m. pdt yesterday (april 26; 2:56 a.m. edt and 0656 gmt today, april 27) — nearly a full day after the historic dive took place. data began coming in from the probe 5 minutes after contact was established, nasa officials said. "in the grandest tradition of exploration, nasa's cassini spacecraft has once again blazed a trail, showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our curiosity can take us if we dare," jim green, director of nasa's planetary science division, in washington, d.c., said






google doodle celebrates cassini probe's 'grand finale' saturn dive


today, google is honoring nasa's cassini mission to saturn with an adorable google doodle featuring the spacecraft swooping between the planet and its rings. cassini kicked off its "grand finale" at saturn this morning (april 26) with the first of 22 planned ring dives that the spacecraft will execute before fatally crashing into saturn on sept. 15. the animated google doodle shows a cute cassini cartoon snapping photos of a smiling saturn while diving through the planet's iconic rings. nasa expects to receive the first close-up shots from today's flyby tomorrow (april 27), but the best images are yet to come. [cassini's 'grand finale' at saturn: nasa's plan in pictures] as cassini's orbit gradually nears saturn over the next few months, these close-ups will keep getting closer. the spacec






google doodle celebrates cassini probe's 'grand finale' saturn dive


today, google is honoring nasa's cassini mission to saturn with an adorable google doodle featuring the spacecraft swooping between the planet and its rings. cassini kicked off its "grand finale" at saturn this morning (april 26) with the first of 22 planned ring dives that the spacecraft will execute before fatally crashing into saturn on sept. 15. the animated google doodle shows a cute cassini cartoon snapping photos of a smiling saturn while diving through the planet's iconic rings. nasa expects to receive the first close-up shots from today's flyby tomorrow (april 27), but the best images are yet to come. [cassini's 'grand finale' at saturn: nasa's plan in pictures] as cassini's orbit gradually nears saturn over the next few months, these close-ups will keep getting closer. the spacec






epic cassini saturn mission begins 'grand finale' this month


nasa's veteran cassini mission will officially kick off its farewell tour of the saturn system on april 22 with a final close encounter of the ringed planet's largest moon, titan. then, on sept. 15, cassini will burn up in saturn's atmosphere.






no end to saturn's mysteries in cassini's closing days


it might as well be the mission motto: "saturn continues to surprise us." that's what earl maize, project manager for the cassini mission at saturn, said during a news conference today (aug. 29). he was referring to the fact that the inner ring system where the cassini probe is spending some of its final weeks doesn't have as much dust as scientists anticipated, and is therefore not as harsh on the spacecraft's instruments. if the mission could last longer — if the probe weren't running out of fuel, that is — maize said he'd love to have cassini explore that region longer. this trend of finding surprising or unexpected physical characteristics — of saturn and its moons — has characterized cassini's entire 13-year stint in the saturnian system, the scientists said, and continues to prove tr






wow! cassini's bird's-eye view of saturn plunge astonishes in new video


an amazing new video shows just what nasa's cassini spacecraft saw during its first "grand finale" plunge between saturn's cloud tops and the gas giant's rings last week. the new saturn dive video captures about an hour of cassini observations on april 26, starting near the planet's north polar vortex, and the bizarre hexagonal jet stream that surrounds it, and heading south from there. "i was surprised to see so many sharp edges along the hexagon's outer boundary and the eye-wall of the polar vortex," cassini imaging team associate kunio sayanagi, who's based at hampton university in virginia, said in a statement. [cassini's ring-diving risks & rewards at saturn (video)]a view of the vortex at saturn's north pole, captured by nasa’s cassini spacecraft during its first “grand finale” plung






here's how the probe will spend its final days


the one-week countdown has begun for the cassini spacecraft's fatal dive into saturn's atmosphere.  on sept. 15, cassini will dive straight into saturn, collecting in-situ data from the planet's atmosphere and firing it back to earth in the 1 to 2 minutes before breaking apart. the dive will bring a dramatic end to the probe's 13-year tenure in the saturnian system, where it has unearthed many incredible and unexpected science discoveries.  this coming week is filled with activity for cassini. check out our complete coverage page for a full schedule of events and how to watch them. [cassini's "grand finale" at saturn in pictures] on saturday (sept. 9), the probe will make the last of its 22 dives through saturn's rings — a flight path that has produced some incredible views. this view of s






skooba laptop weekender travel bag


i go somewhere on a plane at least twice a month. for over ten years i’ve used a briggs & riley roller carry-on, and i’ve been fairly happy with it. it’s heavy for its small size and the zipper pulls all broke off (i made replacements from binder clips and sugru) so i’ve been keeping my eye out for a replacement. after hearing great things about the accessibility and capacity of the skooba weekender duffle, i decided to give it a try. it turned out the be the most convenient carry-on i’ve ever used.report this admeasuring 18″l x 12″h x 11″d this boxy duffle features a capacious central container that holds a week’s worth of clothing plus my large toiletries case. the exterior is micro-ballistic nylon. around the four sides of the main storage container are zipper pockets. one is a rein