Scientists bereft over end of Cassini’s extraordinary mission

(Photo courtesy NBC News)

(NBC NEWS) – On Friday, a project at NASA which lasted decades came to an emotional end.

As it ran out of fuel, the Cassini Space Probe was sent into a suicide dive while still sending data until the very end. During its twenty year mission, Cassini revealed to NASA scientists breathtaking views of Jupiter, intense hurricanes on Saturn’s surface and two of Saturn’s icy moons;images that scientists would have never imagined the probe would reveal.

“It shows the potential for the existence of life,” says Cassini team lead Hunter Waite.

Four months ago, Cassini became the first spacecraft to plunge between Saturn’s rings sending back pictures of Earth captured between the iconic rings.

An emotional yet celebratory day at NASA. “It felt like we were losing a friend,” said Cassini project scientist, Linda Spiker.