05:34 GMT +321 August 2018
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    This image made available by NASA in April 2017 shows a still from the short film Cassini's Grand Finale, with the spacecraft diving between Saturn and the planet's innermost ring

    Cassini Spacecraft on Its Farewell Mission Into Saturn Atmosphere (VIDEO)

    © AP Photo / NASA/JPL-Caltech
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    NASA's Cassini spacecraft is on its farewell journey as it is being pulled into Saturn's atmosphere after 20 years in service. Cassini will be transmitting information until being vaporized and torn apart by the giant gas planet's gravity.

    It is be possible, but difficult, to observe Cassini's death from Earth, due to the spacecraft's small size and the position of Saturn in the sky. The Grand Finale is necessitated to prevent the possibility of Earthly bacteria that has been living on Cassini for the last 20 years contaminating an object orbiting Saturn — an unlikely but possible occurrence.

    Related:

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    US Saturn Probe Cassini to Begin Final Five Orbits on Monday - NASA
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    Tags:
    Saturn, Cassini mission, NASA
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