space exploration

Nasa probe Cassini ends its 13-year journey, disintegrates in Saturn’s atmosphere

The space organisation had decided to dispose of the spacecraft so it would not crash into the planet’s moons.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s probe Cassini disintegrated in Saturn’s atmosphere on Friday after exploring the planet for 13 years. Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted, “Our Cassini Saturn spacecraft is now one with the planet it studied for so long. The rest is science.”

The spacecraft exploded in Saturn’s atmosphere at 6.32 am Eastern Time (4.02 pm Indian Standard Time), 83 minutes before radio signals from the probe came to a halt, reported AP. The spacecraft sped out of Nasa’s control after falling at a speed of 1,22,000 kilometres per hour into Saturn’s atmosphere. “In order to avoid the unlikely possibility of Cassini someday colliding with one of Saturn’s moons, Nasa has chosen to safely dispose of the spacecraft in the atmosphere of Saturn,” officials from the organisation’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory had said in a statement earlier this year.

Cassini’s 13-year mission came to an end when its fuel began to run out. Subsequently, Nasa announced that Cassini had flown to within 1,20,000 kilometres of Saturn’s moon Titan on September 11, and had gone into a “death plunge”. On Thursday, Cassini’s cameras took its final images of Saturn.

The probe sent much new information to Earth since it began exploring Saturn in 2004. Cassini revealed a six-sided jet stream on the planet that holds huge hurricane-like storms, CNBC said. The spacecraft flew to Enceladus, a tiny moon with an atmosphere that scientists feel could make it conducive to life. Cassini also dispatched the Huygens lander to one of the planet’s moons Titan, and discovered a vast underground ocean, as well as liquid methane. Overall, Cassini collected more than 4,53,000 images and traveled 49,000 lakh miles (78,857 lakh kilometres).

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Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.