NASA’s revolutionary robotic spacecraft Cassini that completed its 20 years mission around Saturn recently has not completely vanished. One of its pieces, although very small, is still there traveling in space. On September 15, Cassini was deliberately sent into the Saturn’s atmosphere for a death dive, and the spacecraft got destroyed completely while entering the ring planet’s atmosphere at a speed of 77,000 mph.
The Cassini team decided to destroy the school-bus-sized space probe in Saturn’s atmosphere because it felt that if Cassini is allowed move in Saturn’s orbit, then it might collide with Titan or Enceladus, the moons of Saturn and contaminate their atmosphere with earth microbes. Although Cassini got completely burnt up in Saturn’s atmosphere, a part of it is still orbiting the sun, says NASA. The alleged part is the cover of the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA), an instrument present on Cassini’s body. The aluminum cover was not a usable part of Cassini, and it was designed to be disposed of. It got detached from Cassini in the year 1997, and is currently in vague orbit around the Sun, swiftly moving at a speed of nineteen miles per second.
NASA said that the aluminum cover on CDA was jettisoned in order to open the instrument’s aperture. The aluminum shell is now moving in space, and the CDA instrument has been completely destroyed. The CDA fitted on Cassini helped in studying tiny particles present within the rings of Saturn in order to begin measurements of the interplanetary and interstellar dust background. NASA wrote in an article that the initial aluminum cover release was necessary in order to begin measurements of the interplanetary and interstellar dust background in order to begin measurements of the interplanetary and interstellar dust background. It only informed that the CDA aluminum cover is traveling in an “Earth-like orbit” with an approximate speed of 30 kilometers per second and is so bright that there is a chance that it could possibly be visible through a very powerful telescope. Some of the NASA’s computer model speculated that the metallic CDA cover might be drifting around between Venus and Earth.
Informing about the aluminum cover the Cassini Saturn team tweeted, “When our mission to Saturn came to an end, Cassini became part of the planet itself. But one metallic piece survived the mission, and is still traveling through space.” Well. NASA doesn’t seem to care about the CDA cover, and it’s unlikely that NASA would spend the time and money required to recover it.