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Asking for Directions April 20, 2010

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science, Uncategorizable.
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This graphic isn’t really a guy who can’t ask directions in a strange location.  It’s the past and projected path of the Cassini space probe, which has just been tasked to stay an additional seven years and make 56 passes over Titan, 155 orbits of Saturn in different inclinations, 12 flybys of Enceladus, 5 flybys of other large moons before it just plain dies.  I think they plan to ditch it in Saturn, but that might just be caffeine talking.  The thing is, Cassini had only about 20% of its fuel remaining after finishing its original mission plus the first extended mission. Naturally, getting seven years out of the remaining maneuvering fuel took even NASA geniuses a while, what with calculating gravity slings, aerobraking and stuff like that.  It took them two years to figure this out.

These guys are amazing.  Why doesn’t NASA get more funding than two stupid wars?

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