What better way to start your Friday than by bearing witness to the end of one of the greatest space missions ever launched?
Starting at 7:00 a.m. Eastern daylight time (4:00 a.m. Pacific) on Friday, September 15 you can join the scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts standing vigil for Cassini by tuning in to NASA TV (just click on the video below). NASA is also providing continuous updates on Cassini's position on its website.
NASA will lose Cassini's signal around 7:55 a.m., after the Saturn-exploring spacecraft's antenna points away from Earth for the last time. It's hard to be certain about something happening 2.2 billion miles away, so times are approximate. But the vast gulf between us and Cassini means we'll notice the loss of signal about an hour and 20 minutes after it actually occurs. By the time we hear about it, Cassini will already have disintegrated into dust, breaking apart as it enters Saturn's atmosphere.