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The Cassini mission has ended. But what did it tell us?
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This image made available by NASA shows the moon Enceladus and the edge of Saturn as seen from the Cassini spacecraft on its descent towards the planet on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. The probe disintegrated in the skies above Saturn early Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, after a journey of 20 years. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute via AP) - photo by Herb Scribner
Its over. After 13 years hovering around Saturn, the Cassini mission has ended.

On Friday morning, reports indicated that the Cassini spacecraft committed a death dive into Saturn, ending a 13-year-long mission to transmit data about Saturns composition and makeup, according to CNN.

What did Cassini do?: Cassini obtains information about Saturns atmosphere, orbit and nearby moons, and passes it along back to Earth, according to CNN.

In fact, no other spacecraft in history has lingered so close to the ringed planet.

"You can think of Cassini as the first Saturn probe," Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, told CNN.

When was the last message?: Actually, Cassini sent one final bit of data before it crashed and burn, according to NASA, at about 7:55 a.m. ET on Friday.

Why 13 years?: The human probe launched in 1997. But it wasnt until 2004 so seven years later that the spacecraft actually fell into Saturns orbit, according to The Washington Post.

Was this a surprise?: Todd Barber, Cassini propulsion engineer, told Popular Mechanics that he didnt expect the device to still be around in 2017. "In 2004, we never dreamt we'd be here in 2017 still talking about Cassini and collecting science data," he said.

What did we learn?: The device revealed more information on Saturns rings structure, and it offered a glimpse into two of the planets moons: Titan and Encleadus, which are prime targets in the search for life beyond Earth, The Washington Post reported. Titan is mostly made up of methane lakes, while Encleadus has water streaming in the south pole.

Any photos?: Yes. NASA released a batch of images that Cassini took on the final day of its journey.

So is there life beyond Earth?: Scientists told The Los Angeles Times that the Cassini mission convinced them that life is possible beyond just Mars, Earth and Venus. In fact, life can grow in outer archs of the solar system, like on Titan and Encleadus.

Whats next: Jim Green, the director of planetary science at NASA, is one of several scientists who want to return to Saturn, the LA Times reported. Theres already proposals underway to bring probes to both Titan and Encleadus to obtain more information.

Already, Saturn is beckoning us to go back, Green said.
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