NASA is saying – and this surely seems true – that the final chapter for the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn is, in many ways, like a brand new mission. In the coming year, Cassini will dive through the unexplored space between Saturn and its rings 22 times. The video above tells how a team of NASA engineers called astrodynamicists used math and physics to plot a course for Cassini that would send it on its Grand Finale dives. Remarkable!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.