The Cassini Spacecraft was launched in 1997 and arrived at Saturn in 2004. Since this time it has sent us amazing pictures and information on Saturn and its moons. Cassini carried the Huygens probe, that discovered oceans and rivers of liquid methane on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. On another moon, Enceladus was found to have a thick crust of ice with a large salt water ocean beneath it. Geysers of water vapour were pictured shooting out into space from cracks in the ice. It is for these reasons that the moons could contain life and NASA does not want to contaminate any of the moons with Earth microbes or the small amount of plutonium on board.
Cassini is now approaching its final mission. It is low on fuel and rather than sending it to one of Saturn's moons (that may harbour life) NASA has decided to plunge the $4 Billion spacecraft into the gas giant.
Have a look at this NASA video highlighting Cassini's final mission.
Maddalena Environmental Inc.