The Spacecraft Cassini is launched to check that whether the body has some ingredients of life or not. And hopefully the probe will provide the answers to the numerous questions about how much the ocean environment on Enceladus is suitable for life.
Cassini spacecraft of NASA made a historic close flyby of Saturn’s moon “Enceladus”.The Spacecraft passed just 30 miles (48.5KM) above the moon’s South Polar Region at 15:22 P.M. on Wednesday 28thOctober 2015.
Scientists are hopeful that the flyby will provide information about the hydrothermal activities – chemistry of hot water and rocks.
Cassini is also equipped with Cosmic Dust Analyser(CDA). The instrument can identify upto 10,000 particles per second which analysis the chemical make – up of the Saturn’s moon.
When Cassini was launched? Is this Cassini’s Closest reach to
The Spacecraft was Launched on October 15, 1997 and it entered the orbit around the Saturn on July 1, 2004. Since then it has been studying the large planet, its rings and its magnetic field. The name Cassini was given to the mission on the name famous Italian-French Astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini. The mission of Saturn yielded great discoveries about Enceladus. Icy Plumes were first detected in 2005, which make the mission more interesting.
The Wednesday Flyby is not be the closest approached by Cassini to Enceladus, but definitely it is the deepest dive. The closest approach by the spacecraft Cassini over Enceladus was in October 2008 at an altitude of 16 miles (25KM). The Cassini mission comes to end in 2017.
What information does we get from Enceladus till date?
“Confirmation of molecular hydrogen in the Plume would be an independent line of evidence that hydorthrmal activity is taking place in the Enceladus ocean, on the seafloor,” said Hunter Waite.
“The amount of hydrogen would reveal how much hydrothermal activity is going on,” Hunter said in May.
NASA observed and speculated that the ocean of Enceladus could be salty and have a basic pH between 11 and 12 with neutral pH being 7, which let them believe in the existence of Alien life in our Solar System.
Enceladus produced a series of major discoveries, indicating the most promising place for the life after Earth.