Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Space Alien Says: Arrivederci Cassini

The Space Alien was sad to read of the impending death of Cassini, the remarkable spacecraft that has faithfully orbited the planet Saturn for the past 13 years.   On Friday, September 15, 2017 this unique project will end with Cassini crashing to its doom on the ringed planet.

To read about it at the NASA website please click here:


To read about it at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory please click here:

To read about it on BBC, please click here:

This was of more than academic interest for the Space Alien, who has long been a serious student of our Solar System and has shared an immense store of knowledge, gained on countless interplanetary trips, with our National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Traveling to Saturn at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, the Space Alien took many excellent photographs of Cassini, and kindly shares two of them here, neatly labeled, so that you, loyal readers, might expand your knowledge of space exploration.

The Space Alien had a particularly deep relationship with this project, having secretly worked with NASA for many years, helping to guide Cassini around Saturn.

Here is one of the Space Alien's exclusive "selfies" taken while gently nudging the sometimes wayward spacecraft into it's proper orbit.  It was difficult and dangerous work, but this did not deter the Space Alien, whose dedication to science has few equals.

The Space Alien Gently Guides Cassini around Saturn

The Space Alien was proud to participate in this vital mission, and while saddened to see Cassini come to an end, appreciates the vast store of knowledge we have gained thereby.  

The entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette is proud of the Space Alien, who took on this important job quietly, with no publicity or fanfare, all in the service of science.

Now, having completed this mission and before returning to work at the Space Alien Gazette, the Space Alien will enjoy a few recreational days hunting for diamonds on Uranus.

Post Scripts:

A loyal reader sent the Space Alien Gazette this photograph of the Cassini team!
The Space Alien and Cassini Teammates Celebrate their Great Achievement!
This is not the first time the Space Alien visited the moons of Saturn.  An earlier visit took place during the 2016 Olympic Games, when the Space Alien set personal high jump records on Titan, one of Saturn's many moons.  To learn more about this astonishing feat and to see some of the Space Alien's exclusive photos please visit:

Loyal Readers are also encouraged to learn more about the great Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini for whom the Cassini spacecraft was named at: 

Giovanni Domenico Cassini

King Louis, XIV
The Space Alien's meeting with Cassini took place in France, where Cassini spent much of his life, and where he was the first to use a method of determining longitude to measure the size of France accurately.  France turned out to be smaller than expected.

This disappointed King Louis, XIV (the Sun King) who wanted to make France great again.

 After Cassini tutored the Space Alien in these advanced survey methods learned in France, the  Space Alien offered to teach them to Thomas Jefferson in connection with the newly established American Public Land Survey System (for which see:

T. Jefferson
Jefferson  politely declined the Space Alien's offer, fearing that that this could make America small again.

The Space Alien disagreed, but did not dwell on the matter.

Special Postscripts:

1. Giovanni Domenico Cassini was born on June 8, 1625 and died on September 14, 1712.  The Space Alien observes these dates appropriately.  

2. The Space Alien understands that as more data arrives from the Cassini spacecraft, loyal readers may want to travel to Saturn.  The Space Alien recommends EXTREME CAUTION in this regard.  Chemicals easily tolerated by the Space Alien but highly toxic to human friends abound in this vicinity, so please be content to enjoy the photographs taken by the Space Alien and the many scientists studying these regions.  

3. While updating this post in June, 2021, Your Editor ran across this great blog entry:    Apparently he too (and not surprisingly) liked using the Italian word for farewell in the title!  Here is posted the New York Times account of September 14, 2017 by Kenneth Chang on the life and death of the Cassini spacecraft.