Why Must Cassini Crash Into Saturn?

Why does Cassini have to crash into Saturn?
In this screenshot from the short animated film Cassini's Grand Finale, the spacecraft is shown breaking apart after entering Saturn's atmosphere. The planned end of Cassini will occur on Sept. 15, 2017. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In this screenshot from the short animated film Cassini's Grand Finale, the spacecraft is shown breaking apart after entering Saturn's atmosphere. The planned end of Cassini will occur on Sept. 15, 2017. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Cassini has served us well over the past twenty years, giving us incredible images of Saturn since 2004; thirteen years of imagery from its vantage in the outer solar system. With any lengthy mission, it is sad to see a spacecraft reach its end...

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