The Cassini mission will make its last transmission ever in less than 48 hours, after a journey of nearly 5 billion miles across space.
Cassini’s grand finale will come on September 15, when the craft plunges down Saturn’s atmosphere, destroying itself in the process.
The probe was launched on October 15, 1997, and completed a series of flybys of Venus and Jupiter before setting course to Saturn, the planet where it spent most of its mission time.
In April this year, Cassini was set on a collision course with Saturn. The probe’s final destination saw it fly 22 times between the planet and its rings, sending never-before-seen close-up images of such enigmatic celestial body.
Cassini’s swan song will be the transmission of scientifically valuable data during its terminal dive into Saturn, for as long as the craft’s thrusters can keep its antenna pointed towards Earth.