CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has ventured into the never-before-explored region between Saturn and its rings.
But flight controllers won’t know how everything went until Thursday when they are back in touch with the craft.
Cassini was out of radio contact with Earth early Wednesday as it became the first spacecraft to enter the gap between Saturn and its rings. That’s because its big dish antenna was maneuvered face forward to protect science instruments from potentially damaging ring particles.
If Cassini survives this first round, it will make 21 more crossings before its demise in September.
Launched in 1997, Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. Because the fuel tank is practically empty, NASA decided on one last dangerous, but science-rich adventure.
STORIES THAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-
- Chipotle investigating data breach
- Prosecutor: Couple laughed as they fatally shot service dog
- Sarasota Co. dance instructor facing new charges for relationship with student
- Cops: Lakeland man violated burn ban, threatened to put bullet in Sheriff Judd’s head
- Woman arrested after leaving infant in hot car outside Hillsborough courthouse
- Dash cam captures fiery crash, rescue of Fla. man known as ‘Gold Teeth’
- You Paid For It: Scientology trying to kill $26 million Clearwater aquarium funding after land sale dispute
- Nordstrom sells ‘dirty’ jeans, with fake mud for $425