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Justanotherrandomguy
2008-Jan-02, 12:39 AM
As I understand it, in order to prevent contamination of Saturn's moons Cassini will be put into the atmosphere of the Gas Giant at the end of its lifetime. When this happens will there be instrumentation on board to ensure that we get information about the atmosphere of the planet as there was in the probe that was sent by Galileo into Jupiter?

Superluminal
2008-Jan-02, 01:35 AM
Probably not a lot of data will be sent back. The probe Galileo dropped in, had a heat shield and parachute and was able to transmit data via the mother ship for quite a while after entering the atmosphere. Cassini's transmissions will stop as soon as it enters the atmosphere.

GOURDHEAD
2008-Jan-02, 02:21 AM
As I understand it, in order to prevent contamination of Saturn's moons Cassini will be put into the atmosphere of the Gas Giant at the end of its lifetime.....would that we could watch the monsters grow as the chemistry of Saturn mutates the microbes we will have so casually donated.

Romanus
2008-Jan-02, 01:45 PM
I'm with luminal...any data we get will probably be of little use, especially if the entry takes place on the night side. It will be going so fast that it will spend too little time in the exosphere to send much data.

KaiYeves
2008-Jan-02, 10:19 PM
Must it go? I've come to see Cassini as a bit of a friend.

antoniseb
2008-Jan-02, 10:30 PM
Must it go? I've come to see Cassini as a bit of a friend.
It will eventually use all the propellant required to keep it able to point its antenna toward Earth, or to aim it to take pictures. When that happens, it becomes mildly dangerous debris.

KaiYeves
2008-Jan-02, 10:38 PM
It will eventually use all the propellant required to keep it able to point its antenna toward Earth, or to aim it to take pictures. When that happens, it becomes mildly dangerous debris.
You're right, that was a dumb thing of me to say.
But still I'm :-(

Doodler
2008-Jan-02, 10:45 PM
I'm not impressed with the reasoning here. There's an unbelievably long shot that two of Jupiter's moons might have biospheres contaminatable by what was on Galileo, but nothing in the Saturn system suggests that even a remote possibility of a biosphere in existance, to say nothing of potentially existing ever.

Which begs the question of mildly dangerous to whom? The volume of space here is sickeningly vast, when compared to a relatively busy street around Mars, and the unholy congestion in Earth orbit where an incidental satellite collision has never been recorded, what's at risk?

Van Rijn
2008-Jan-02, 10:55 PM
I'm not impressed with the reasoning here. There's an unbelievably long shot that two of Jupiter's moons might have biospheres contaminatable by what was on Galileo, but nothing in the Saturn system suggests that even a remote possibility of a biosphere in existance, to say nothing of potentially existing ever.


There is some speculation that Titan and Enceladus could have life (and a bit stronger speculation that Titan might have had life when it was younger and hotter).



Which begs the question of mildly dangerous to whom? The volume of space here is sickeningly vast, when compared to a relatively busy street around Mars, and the unholy congestion in Earth orbit where an incidental satellite collision has never been recorded, what's at risk?

I think a problem is unlikely in the extreme. On the other hand, if they can throw it at Saturn when it is of no further use, I don't see a downside.

Kullat Nunu
2008-Jan-03, 12:11 AM
Especially if the can make science in the process.

Only downside is that nobody can then recover it and put it in a museum.

Best that could happen is that someone finds a way to conduct a unplanned soft landing a la NEAR-Shoemaker on some of the small moons.

Superluminal
2008-Jan-03, 02:47 AM
I'd like to see it manuvered into the ring plane and become a ring particle. Imagine what we would see as Cassini flies along at the same speed as the other ring particle's

Justanotherrandomguy
2008-Jan-03, 05:24 PM
I doubt that's possible, but if it was, what a sight!

Romanus
2008-Jan-03, 10:00 PM
I myself also favor a suicide plunge through the rings, but I doubt it'll happen.