Skip to main content

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

Entering Atmosphere


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


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.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at 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 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 enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.