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Cassini Saturnian exploration

Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn the first to enter orbit, its mission to explore the Saturnian system.

An unmanned NASA spacecraft, Cassini, is poised to plunge into the gap between Saturn and its rings, a pioneering journey that could offer an unprecedented view of the sixth planet from the Sun.

Cassini is a 20-year-old joint mission of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency.

The 6.7-metre spacecraft launched in 1997, back when Bill Clinton was president, and began orbiting Saturn in 2004.

Cassini's latest adventure is a swansong for the spacecraft, as it is running low on fuel, and will make a death plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on September 15.

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