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Cassini's 'Grand Finale' at Saturn: NASA's Plan in Pictures

Entering Atmosphere

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Cassini will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017. On the way down, Cassini will continue to send data, including measurements of the composition of Saturn's upper atmosphere.

The End

NASA/JPL-Caltech

When the spacecraft succumbs to the atmosphere, breaking up and unable transmit any more data, it will burn up like a meteor in Saturn's upper atmosphere, NASA officials said.

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Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time Hanneke likes to explore the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.