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A model of the Cassini spacecraft is seen at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) September 13, 2017 in Pasadena, California. | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Exploration

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Signs Off After Marathon of Scientific Discovery

Cassini disintegrated as it plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere Friday morning, capping a 20-year journey that has changed the way researchers view the potential for life in the solar system.

Cassini science team members await the final loss of signal from the Cassini spacecraft, indicating Cassini's destruction in Saturn's atmosphere and the end of Cassini's 20-year mission to gain a better understanding of the ringed planet and its icy moons, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California on September 15, 2017. | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)