Science Team Status

Animated GIF of science data moving on a screen.

This animation shows the last 30 seconds of Cassini's X- and S-band radio signals as they disappeared from mission control on Sept. 15, 2017. The video has been sped up by a factor of two. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Cassini spacecraft’s journey may have ended, but scientists across the globe will study the rich science legacy it left behind for many years. Likely for decades.

After Cassini’s instrument teams get a first crack at the final data (for a period of several months), all the observations and measurements are delivered to NASA’s Planetary Data System.

There they become available to anyone in the world with an interest in studying them. As Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker has commented, “Who knows how many PhD theses are waiting to be written, based on the data returned in Cassini’s Grand Finale and final plunge into Saturn?” Indeed, researchers may only have skimmed the surface of what Cassini’s data ultimately could reveal. Now the scientific deep dive begins…

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