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.

How far has Cassini gone? See that bitty dot marked Earth? That’s us, now look at Saturn. We can’t imagine the distance!

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. 

Cassini-Huygens spacecraft Travel plan
The travels of Cassini over the period 2004 to 2017

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.

[tweetshare tweet=”Cassini-Huygens and #NASA and #spaceships mean for cats and humans.” via=”no”]

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.

Cassini-Huygens
Yeah, we think this looks like a ball of yarn too! It’s Cassini’s orbits around Saturn! Image credit: Erick Sturm. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech
  • 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

Dash Kitten Silver Kitten the Business Cat

picture of the Cassini spacecraft approaching Saturn
Close to the end of the mission for Cassini.

 

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24 Comments

  1. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    William's Kith & Kin

    September 15, 2017 at 2:37 am

    We are always excited by things in space and we are awestruck by Cassini. It is sad that its end is so near, but oh what a life it had.

    Reply

  2. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    MrJackFreckles/Pipo/Angel-Minko/

    September 15, 2017 at 4:48 am

    That truly is interesting!
    Sorry that you had to sacrifice yourself, Cassini.

    Reply

  3. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Brian

    September 15, 2017 at 7:04 am

    We get to see lots of things like that including Cassini since the Dad watches those things lots!

    Reply

  4. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    The Swiss Cats

    September 15, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    We heard about Cassini on the TV news yesterday. They said that scientists are going to need more that 10 years to analyze all datas that Cassini sent to them ! Amazing ! Purrs

    Reply

  5. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Erin the Cat, Princess

    September 15, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Great post! I hadn’t really heard about this until you highlighted it, but will watch in on the stream from NASA. So much time and effort and it all comes to an end in a sort of bang. Those guys will have such mixed feelings about this I would think. I really hope we get some life changing data to help improve humanity.
    Purrrs
    ERin

    Reply

  6. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Roby Sweet

    September 16, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Great post on Cassini! I’ve just watched the final moments of the mission. What a bittersweet time. I wonder what amazing things we will learn from those last bits of data from the atmosphere…

    Reply

  7. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Cathy Keisha

    September 16, 2017 at 2:51 am

    I was really up on this but I bet Pop was. At one time he wanted to be an astronaut and follows these missions very closely. We heard it disintegrated this morning. We’ll go back after Pop comes home and watch the links together.

    Reply

  8. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    mommakatandherbearcat

    September 16, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Astronomy’s always been a passion of mine. I’m embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t heard this was happening until I read the post. What wonderful feats of science we can accomplish with just a little cooperation and good humor.

    Reply

  9. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Marvelous

    September 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Gosh,
    My Mommy is a bit of an astronomy geek. She has been interested in Cassini since it first started to broadcast. And the images…WOW! Especially Jupiter’s Big Spot!!
    And seems as Mommy is fighting bacterial invaders right now, she is particularly impressed that NASA scientists are distroying Cassini to avoid contaminating Saturn’s Moons with Earth Microbes!
    Many Purrs
    Marvelous

    Reply

  10. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Ellen Pilch

    September 16, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I need to show this to my husband , he loves all space things.

    Reply

  11. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Pam Greer

    September 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I never even heard of Cassini. So much going on that I know nothing about.

    Reply

  12. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Sweet Purrfections

    September 20, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Wow! We’re impressed! Science kitties – we never knew! All kidding aside, this is very exciting news. Thank you for sharing about Cassini.

    Reply

  13. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Cathy Armato

    September 21, 2017 at 12:27 am

    This is SUPER cool, thanks for sharing it! I love when we collaborate internationally on anything and this is really special. I honestly can’t believe any spacecraft lasted for 20 years out there, pretty amazing!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    Reply

  14. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Kamira Gayle

    September 21, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Wow I had no idea about Cassini either. One I didn’t realize NASA was attempting to reach Saturn and second, who knew a mission was intended to last 20 years. The things we as humans try to accomplish in science (and otherwise) always amazes me. Thanks for sharing this interesting post.

    Reply

  15. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Sadie

    September 21, 2017 at 3:37 am

    That is quite incredible! I am curious to learn ‘what is out there.’ Thank you for sharing this post. I’m downloading the ebook to show my father – he loves astronomy and drove to TN to see the ‘total’ eclipse.

    Reply

  16. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Kate

    September 21, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Nice post. I had briefly heard about Cassini over the last couple of weeks, but your post was more in depth then what I have heard so far. NASA has some incredible missions.

    Reply

  17. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Tenacious Little Terrier

    September 21, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Goodbye Cassini! You served well and introduced us to so much new knowledge. Science is amazing.

    Reply

  18. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    The Daily Pip

    September 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

    You kitties did a wonderful job with this post. Although I knew about Cassini, I learned a LOT more from this post. The little spacecraft that could certainly did her job and then some. Thank you Cassini and farewell!

    Reply

  19. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Ruth Epstein

    September 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

    What a fantastic post, love that you wrote about something I do not normally think about – bye bye Cassini and what a life you had

    Reply

  20. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Bryn Nowell

    September 21, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    So cool! Science is amazing and I am so thankful to those before us who had the forethought to conceptualize the items that we will need to be collecting data on today. I can’t plan tomorrow’s breakfast, so this concept is foreign to me personally.

    Thank you for sharing your excitement along with an overview on findings. What a cool nugget of history that’s about to ride into the sunset.

    Reply

  21. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Beth

    September 21, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I saw a little blip on the news, but not nearly as interesting and informative as this was. Science is so interesting!

    Reply

  22. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Amelia Johnson

    September 21, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    What a fun way to talk about Science from a cat’s perspective and then offering the results too. It is amazing that scientists had an idea of what to ask 20 years ago that would prove relevant today.

    Reply

  23. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Irene McHugh

    September 21, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Watching NASA spacecrafts travel and document over time is truly exciting. The fact that something was built over twenty years ago and the technology is still ticking away makes me wonder why I covet the iPhone 8. What’s wrong with the iPhone I have now? Thanks for covering this important story Silver Kitty and Marjorie! I wish the news would celebrate scientific achievements more.

    Reply

  24. Avatar for Silver Kitten

    Robin

    September 21, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    It is amazing what one small satellite has been able to accomplish. Though it is sad to see one mission end, surely, a new mission will soon begin. It will be really interesting to see what those last few moments will bring us. The universe is so vast and we are such a tiny, unique part of it. What will we learn next?

    Reply

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