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Cassini stares at Saturn

Cassini is the spacecraft that just reached saturn, meaning it has just fallen into the atmosphere of saturn gaining access to its gravity. It just chills my brain when I say that. Why? Coz Saturn is just 3000000000 kilometers from Earth. Yes, No kidding – 3 Billion kms. It is so astonishing because it zipped through that distance in just a mere 7 years after it was launched. I still cannot comprehend fully this human marvel. The mission is a phenomenal success beause it has started doing what it was exactly sent for : Capture snapshots and study the rings, moons and atmosphere. This is one of the very first images. This is real and not a digital art.

Saturn's F Ring

Caroline Park, the lead scientist who spent the last 15 years working hard to realize this dream, spoke to the press today introducing the pictures. It was moving when she said, with tears and a shivering voice, that she never expected that the space craft would successfully go so close to take such amazing pictures. She said it took her a few hours to verify and believe that her colleagues weren’t teasing her with unreal pictures. I can understand how close this must have been to her heart when she said she felt like she had another baby when she saw the first picture. Of course, failing missions are much more common and acceptable in space science, so no wonder she was unbelievably excited.

Tighten your seatbelts, This is just day one! Cassini will hang around saturn for four full months.

PS:At Jet Propulsion Lab from where scientists control the craft, during those tense moments when the craft cross the saturns atmosphere, apparently, they pass along a jar of peanuts to everyone around the control room with everyone grabbing a chunk of it and gulping it to tone down their anxiety. And it seem to work! After a series of failed missions a peanut-passing tradition started in 1962, kick-started the mission to moon! Cant believe it? Hear it from the guys in JPL. A peanut writes the fate of a trillion dollar mission! So as long as there is a reason to believe, Americans believe in any crap!

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