The first mission to put a spacecraft in Saturn’s orbit to explore the most iconic planet in our solar system will come to a historic end on September 15 2017, and National Geographic will be there to capture it. premieres Sunday 17 September, the same weekend as the missions end,
In a one-hour special event, Mission Saturn will reveal the secrets Cassini has lMove to Trashearned about the planet it has marveled for 13 years. It will shine a spotlight on the team that dreamt of exploring the planet deeper than ever before. This mission has taken immense risks and endured almost a decade longer in space than expected, shedding light on alien worlds and the existence of Saturn’s Earth-like moons that contain the key components essential to harboring life.
With near empty fuel tanks, Cassini will make its final display of precision piloting, and dive in between Saturn and the inner edge of its rings, dipping into its hazy, often violent, atmosphere for the first time. Resisting the pressure of this gas giant and the possibility of Cassini containing microbes from Earth, NASA must safely dispose of the spacecraft so that it does not contaminate another world with life from Earth. Cassini will send its final signal back to Earth, bidding farewell as it burns like a meteor to become part of Saturn.
With inside access to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California, Mission Saturn unveils the engineering of Cassini and its passenger probe, Huygens, that will be deployed to land on Saturn’s largest moon and one of the most Earth-like places in the solar system, Enceladus.
Explore Saturn even further as we learn more about its mysterious rings, its vast collection of moonlets and the composition of the planet. Meet the scientists and engineers who have been devoted to this mission, including the flight design team and pilots whoworked tirelessly to extend the initial four-year flagship mission. Capture their emotions as they hear from their spacecraft one last time and reveal Cassini’s last images.
Mission Saturn premieres Sunday 17 September at 7.30pm AEST on National Geographic