What You Need to Know About the Final 11 Orbits of Cassini

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An artist impression of the Cassini spacecraft just above the atmosphere of Saturn.
The Cassini spacecraft is halfway through its Grand Finale phase, the next 11 orbits will be packed with science (image credit: NASA/JPL).

The Cassini spacecraft has only 11 more orbits left of the ringed planet Saturn before its destruction. On September 15th, 2017, Cassini will make a planned plunge into the clouds of Saturn, which will cause it to break up. The science is packed in for Cassini over these orbits: it will study the rings by imaging and sampling, create a more accurate gravitational map of Saturn, and measure the magnetic field of Saturn. Here take a look at the summary of science in the final phase of the Grand Finale.

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What You Need to Know About the Final 11 Orbits of Cassini
Emily Lakdawalla
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Jesse Rogerson, PhD

As a passionate science communicator, Jesse Rogerson loves promoting science literacy to the public. He frequently represents the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on television and radio, social media, and at conferences. A trained and practicing astrophysicist, Jesse holds a PhD in observational astrophysics from York University, and publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals. Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle, board games, and ultimate frisbee.