Today the words Cassini-Huygens or Cassini will hit the news headlines is a big way. Not because of dramatic storms battering us here on Earth, and no animals or people will be swept away by the final dramatic events unfolding close to Saturn, the true ‘Lord of the Rings’.
This is a challenging post to write, for us. We want to balance our excitement of the breathtaking human achievement drawing to a close, with an impression of why Cassini-Huygens matters. But we have to try and, what we miss out, we urge you discover via our links to NASA.
Wondering Why Cats are Blogging about Saturn and Science?
Let’s go back to the start of all this, 20 years ago. Because this is one of the most important reasons we are cheering the ‘little spacecraft that could’. Co-operation and collaboration inspires the global science community, just as it does our pet blogging friends.
Analysing the Cassini and Huygens data is being done worldwide and will help science, and our humans, to understand where Planet Earth came from, and why we sit amongst the stars filled with wonder, asking ‘what the heck is happening out there’? This determination to reach out and discover creative new ways of co-operating is the kind of attitude we love seeing amongst our world-wide blogging friends.
Why are We Cats Fussing Over Cassini-Huygens?
The Dash Kitten Crew will not be the only ones who will shed a few tears to see this amazing spacecraft fling itself head first into Saturn, battling to keep its antenna pointed at Earth and transmitting critical new data about the planet until the very… last… second. Hard headed scientists, astronomers, physicists, and those who love science and space travel will watch the clock count down until Cassini is no more – most swallowing hard.
For a closer look at the spacecraft check here for an interactive model you can swivel around and zoom closer into to appreciate a spaceship that was made 20 years ago and that we are bidding farewell to very soon.
How Did Science Know the Questions Cassini-Huygens Had to Answer 20 years ago?
Lots of people were involved in formulating the questions, and creating the spacecraft that would spend 20 years in space. Always signalling, always measuring, always moving further from us and closer to Saturn. Co-operation spanned disciplines we can barely understand (radio astronomy or astrophysics anyone?) but the results have allowed us to discover many things.
Cassini’s findings are also being shared worldwide, and the data is open to interpretation and discussion. Well, we cats have to keep our humans busy somehow – right?!
NASA/JPL have plenty of space info. here.
- NASA wants us all to celebrate Cassini and this visionary trip. There is a free ebook celebrating Saturn as seen through Cassini’s ‘eyes’, which can be downloaded here. It is packed solid with amazing information humans people can understand, and breathtaking images.
A small army of admirers will bid farewell to a technological achievement that also takes a bit of our heart with us when it dives into Saturn for the last time. Science is amazing, even when we don’t understand all of it – we know in our hearts it really, really is.
Marjorie, and Silver Kitten
Tech Editor Cassini-Huygens