Cassini has revealed sights and never-before-seen phenomena that are changing our understanding of how planetary systems develop and evolve, and the extent of those environmental conditions that could create habitats for life.
After its 20-year tour through space, the mission ended in a planned swan dive into Saturn, between its rings, on September 15. For Carolyn Porco (PhD ’83), a planetary scientist, Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley, a Caltech Distinguished Alumna, and Cassini’s imaging science team lead, that moment was bittersweet. “We’ve lived a bold and daring adventure around the solar system’s most magnificent planet. What a privilege it was to be responsible for returning the visual record of our travels there.”