Before it ends its mission to Saturn by intentionally hurling itself into the planet's atmosphere on Sept. 15, the Cassini spacecraft will complete a series of measurements announced today by NASA.
- Sept. 11: Flyby of Saturn's moon Titan that will put the spacecraft into its final plunge.
- Sept. 13 and 14: Final photos taken (including of Earth and the very last will be of the propellers) and transmitted to Earth.
- Sept. 14 and 15: Eight onboard instruments will be sampling the upper atmosphere of Saturn during the final plunge.
- Early morning Sept. 15: Loss of signal about 950 miles above Saturn's cloud tops. Seconds later it will melt from temperatures of 200 - 500°C.