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The Fate of Cassini

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posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 06:56 PM
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The Cassini spacecraft is roughly halfway through its looping voyage
of the Saturn system and is continuing to return a bounty of data on
the ringed planet and its moons.
Yet all journeys must have an end and Cassini's eventual fate is now
being discussed.

Sometime around 2012, Cassini, like the ocean-going ships of old,
will need to be decommissioned.
However, the spacecraft cannot be towed to some nearby shore to be
dismantled; she must either drop anchor, be scuttled, or cast off her
gravitational moorings altogether.

"Perhaps the most likely option is to leave Cassini in a long-lived orbit
that would have little to no risk of ever hitting anything," Mitchell said.
"Another is to impact Saturn like Galileo did at Jupiter, although there
are some complications with this one."

"Another option is to identify one of Saturn's icy moons as an accep-
table candidate and impact the spacecraft onto it," Mitchell said.

Yet this option also holds an inherent risk arising from the three pluto-
nium bearing Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) Cassini
uses as a power source.

The third option: raise anchor and escape the Saturn system altogether.
Such a maneuver would require numerous flybys of Saturn's largest
moon Titan to sling the spacecraft free of the ringed planet's environs.

If Cassini were to be cut adrift in this manner, her controllers have two
further choices: either bring her sunward or let her escape deeper into
the outer solar system.


SOURCE:
Space.com


I was wondering what the fate of Cassini would be, and now it
looks like I have my answer, well several answers I should say.

I honestly hope they either leave it orbiting, and keep sending
info back as long as it can, or send it on a journey out of the
Solar System.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 08:21 PM
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I'd like to see them approach the rings again.
The closest images were during the period of Orbital insertion..and you could "almost"
make out indiviual lumps of material.

I wonder how close they could get, once we know that Cassini is nearly out of gas?



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 08:33 PM
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I would like to understand what the risks concerning the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators are.

If they knew they could damage an enviroment or something similar then why did they use them, and why did'nt they plan for this before launch.

Are they a real risk and in what way?

If anyone has any information on RTG's please post it here for me.

Regards xS_Gx



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 08:36 PM
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Hey Mr Gun,

I think I found your "One stop shop".
for Cassini RTG info..

take a look!
www.seds.org...



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 08:42 PM
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I would like to understand what the risks concerning the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators are.

If they knew they could damage an enviroment or something similar then why did they use them, and why did'nt they plan for this before launch.

Are they a real risk and in what way?

If anyone has any information on RTG's please post it here for me.


Since not everyone will click on the link, and the person requested nicely..


The problem with the RTGs, is that they would melt the ice on the
moon it crashes on, that would allow for terrestrial life that made
the trip to survive, and they don't want to take the chance of
contaminating any alien microbial ecosystems.

They used them because that was there only real choice power wise.



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 08:43 PM
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I don't know why NASA is so concerned with seeding another celestial body with life from Earth...I think that'd be a positive thing.

I say smash it into the most likely world to be able to support life!



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 10:35 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
I don't know why NASA is so concerned with seeding another celestial body with life from Earth...I think that'd be a positive thing.

I say smash it into the most likely world to be able to support life!


Have you ever seen a Pro-Alien Life nerd argue with an Anti-Alien Life Nerd? That's why they are worried, because it will just increase the amount of argument time by several orders of magnitude. It's only in the interest of expediency.



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 11:29 PM
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Thats amazing, I've learned a lot here today, thaks for the flood of links spacedoubt I found them extremeley intuative, infact this one astounded me:

What goes up, must come down!

And cheers iori_komei for the 'heads up'

Regards xS_Gx


jra

posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 11:56 PM
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I like the idea of sending it out into space. It seems like the most useful option (assuming it will still be able to power it self and send signals back to Earth)



posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 12:56 PM
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Or this guy could be right:

www.rinf.com...

I doubt it but after reading, it kinda started to seem plausible.

hee hee hee could be interesting



bum_phantom



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
I don't know why NASA is so concerned with seeding another celestial body with life from Earth...I think that'd be a positive thing.

I say smash it into the most likely world to be able to support life!


no , NO , and fookin NO !

one day we hope to send far more advanced probes , and even manned missions further out into the solar system , and beyond

and when they arrive - they will wish to find pristine extra terrestrial environments

NOT a contaminated sluge puddle infested with mutant strains of terran bacteria

that is why such probes should never be crashed into such environmentally sugnifucant ecologies as titan , europa etc .



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 11:23 AM
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What about letting it de-orbit and fall into the sun. Poof... and it's gone. No fuss, no muss.

Eventually the power on Cassini will fail and it wont be good for anything. No more signals coming from Cassini, so why leave our trash out in Space where it could cause trouble? Impacting on a moon or planet is once again, just dumping our trash where it doesn't belong. I guess it would be just as OK to drop it on New Jersey perhaps?

The Suns nuclear furnace is a great way to clean up anything with no contamination worries.



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by Terapin
What about letting it de-orbit and fall into the sun. Poof... and it's gone. No fuss, no muss.


IMHO it would not just " de orbit " and fall into the sun without massive intervention

that would require several burns - using precious fuel that scientists would much rather expend on manouvers to allow further experiments and imaging to be done

you cannot just point it vaguely at the sun - and let gravity do its work - as murphys law , the interaction with other bodies etc may alter its trajectory - you have to have the fuel and power reserves to make it go into the sun

if you are going to trash it into the sun - a very good idea BTW - as i do not consider that we know enought about saturn or jupiter to so cavarlierly crash crap into them

and NO i certainly do not buy the scare mongering psuedo science crap from hoaxland and others that a chain reaction could occur

its just that when better probes are sent - it would ne nicer if they did not have to filter the emmission spikes from plutonium and the other crap from thier data - just to get meaningfull results


I guess it would be just as OK to drop it on New Jersey perhaps?


i passed through new jersy once ............. so i have no problem with that idea



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 06:00 PM
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True. A proper path into the sun would require a planned course, but if it was aimed in the right direction it would work. You would have to factor in the paths of all planets and other celestial bodies, but gravity would be on our side.

The other option is to send it outside the solar system much like Voyager. That way ET could use it for spare parts.



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 01:59 AM
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Originally posted by bum_phantom
Or this guy could be right:

www.rinf.com...


Hee hee hee indeed. Thanks for the link. Fascinating page. Nuts, but fascinating.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 09:29 AM
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heh heh heh...I thought some one might like that page Astyanax

heh heh heh



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 11:43 AM
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I wonder if they could send it to Europa or the other Icy moons of Jupitor. If this craft is as hardy as all the other craft they have sent lately then we should squeeze all the science out of it that we can. If not how about some asteroids?



posted on Jan, 22 2007 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by Terapin
True. A proper path into the sun would require a planned course, but if it was aimed in the right direction it would work. You would have to factor in the paths of all planets and other celestial bodies, but gravity would be on our side.

The other option is to send it outside the solar system much like Voyager. That way ET could use it for spare parts.


Not really... a solar deorbit would require a very non-trivial delta-V, since the probe would have to almost completely stop relative to the sun. Currently it's traveling at approximately Saturn's orbital velocity, or around 9.5 km/sec.


Originally posted by Xeven
I wonder if they could send it to Europa or the other Icy moons of Jupitor. If this craft is as hardy as all the other craft they have sent lately then we should squeeze all the science out of it that we can. If not how about some asteroids?


Again, not enough fuel for that.

[edit on 22-1-2007 by cdrn]



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